OMAHA, NEB. - The winning bid for a private lunch with billionaire Warren Buffett may top several million dollars in an online auction to benefit a California homeless charity that wraps up Friday night.
For the 18th consecutive year, Buffett is auctioning off a lunch to raise money for the Glide Foundation, which helps homeless people in San Francisco. The chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway has raised nearly $24 million through the auctions. Last year's winner paid $3,456,789, which tied the record set in 2012.
Buffett has praised the charity for the work it does helping people. Buffett became a believer in Glide's work after his first wife, Susie Buffett, showed him what the group was doing for the poor and homeless. Susie Buffett had volunteered for the San Francisco charity before her death in 2004.
"Everyone that has experienced Glide comes away a believer,'' said Buffett.
Glide provides meals, health care, job training, rehabilitation and housing support to the poor and homeless.
This year's eBay auction began Sunday and runs through Friday at 7:30 p.m. PDT.
Buffett says the only topic that's off limits in the lunch conversation is what Buffett might invest in next, and the 86-year-old says he usually gets a wide range of questions.
The winners of the lunch auction typically dine with Buffett at Smith and Wollensky steak house in New York City, which donates at least $10,000 to Glide each year to host the lunch. If the winner chooses to remain anonymous the lunch has sometimes been held elsewhere.