Beijing gaming company Beijing gaming company Da Lian Zeus Entertainment Co. won this year’s charity auction for lunch with Warren Buffett. The tongue-in-cheek bid of $2,345,678 isn’t the highest bid the charity auction has ever seen, but it definitely ranked quite high on the amounts bid in the past few years.
The auction, hosted by the Glide Foundation in San Francisco, raises money to help Bay Area homeless and poor. The winning bidder receives the opportunity to have lunch with Warren Buffett and pick his brain about his expansive experience in investing and business.
That the winner was an international donor isn’t surprising. Since moving the bidding process online, the charity auction has become available to business people around the world. And Buffet’s Berkshire Hathaway has been gaining an increasing number of fans in China recently, evidenced by the fact that more than 200 Chinese investors attended the Berkshire annual meeting in Omaha last month.
This year’s auction began on May 31 and closed last Friday. There were 76 bids from eight bidders. Historically, the winner has been an individual; this is the first year an entry under a company name has won.
Buffett explained that the shared meal usually lasts between three and four hours and takes place at the New York steakhouse Smith & Wollensky. The restaurant reportedly donates about $10,000 every year to the Glide Foundation for the right to host the meal.
“Every year, it’s an interesting experience for me,” said Buffett in an interview. “I’ve met a lot of great people in connection with it. Made new friends. Hired a person. Had a lot of good steaks, so I can’t complain.”
His connection with Glide began thanks to the work his first wife did with the organization. Since her death in 2004, Buffett has continued to help raise about $18 billion every year for the organization through this fundraiser.
Last year’s winning bid was $2.16 million from Singaporean Andy Chua.