June 9 (Reuters) - A typical lunch at a high-end Manhattan steakhouse for nine people might run $1,000 or so, but when Warren Buffett is the guest of honor the price can rise to $3.46 million.
That is how much an as-yet unknown bidder paid in the annual online charity auction for the right to lunch with the “Oracle of Omaha” and seven friends at the Smith & Wollensky steakhouse in Manhattan.
The proceeds were up compared to last year, when fund manager Ted Weschler bid $2.63 million to have lunch with Buffett. The 81-year-old Nebraska billionaire ended up hiring Weschler last September to be an investment manager at Berkshire Hathaway.
A total of 10 bidders entered 106 bids over the five-day auction that ended on Friday evening, much stronger than last year when just two people made a total of eight bids. The winning offer was exactly $3,456,789.
The previous 12 auctions raised more than $11.5 million for the San Francisco-based charity GLIDE, which sponsors a variety of programs for the disadvantaged, from meals for the needy and housing to community clinics. Buffett was introduced to GLIDE via his late first wife Susan.