06/04/2013 02:52 pm ET

Lunch With Warren Buffett Comes At A Hefty Price As Bidding Continues


Apparently, lunch with Warren Buffett is a highly coveted affair, as bidding for the 14th annual Glide Foundation eBay auction ramps up this week.

The auction for the private lunch date went live Sunday with an opening bid set at $25,000. By Tuesday night, the bid had reached $700,100, and it's expected to soar as the auction approaches its closing date on June 7 at 7:30 p.m. Pacific time. The winner will dine with Buffett and up to seven friends at Smith & Wollensky in New York.

While the lunch was initially auctioned off for $25,000 back in 2000, an anonymous donor paid a whopping $3,456,789 last year to dine with one of the world's richest men, the Wall Street Journal notes.

As Mohnish Pabrai, a past winner who paid $650,100 back in 2007, told Bloomberg News, "The trajectory will keep moving upwards simply because the total number of lunches left keeps going down every year. I wouldn't be surprised if it went over $4 million."

All proceeds from the auction will benefit The Glide Foundation, which promotes the alleviation of poverty in the San Francisco Bay area.

The 82-year-old philanthropist who has pledged his wealth to charity and has already given $17.3 billion to philanthropic causes, noted on the eBay auction website that Glide is "... maybe the most effective organization I’ve seen for people down on their luck. It takes people who have hit bottom and brings them back. I’ve seen it with my own eyes."

Accordingly, lunch with the famed entrepreneur goes toward the foundation's $17 million annual budget, USA Today notes. And as eBay tweeted, this annual auction has helped tremendously, raising $14.2 million over 10 years for the foundation.

It looks like all this legendary billionaire has to do to raise millions is show up for lunch.



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