Buffett is Amazed His Charity Auction Lunch Drew a $2.1M Bid

A Chinese investment fund manager’s bid for the chance to have lunch with billionaire Warren Buffett was the largest ever in a charity auction on eBay and surprised even Buffett.

”It kind of blew me away,” Buffett said Tuesday.

Zhao Danyang of the Hong Kong-based Pureheart China Growth Investment Fund won the auction, which ended Friday evening with a bid of $2,110,100.

The Oracle of Omaha said the size of Zhao’s bid doesn’t mean the meal will stretch past the three hours Buffett usually spends with auction winners.

All of the auction’s proceeds go to the Glide Foundation, which provides social services to the poor and homeless in San Francisco.

This was the sixth year that Buffett auctioned a lunch on auctioneer eBay Inc.’s Web site to benefit Glide. Buffett began auctioning the lunches for Glide off-line in 2000.

Last year, two investors won lunch with Buffett for $650,100.

Visiting a Dairy Queen in Omaha Tuesday morning to sample the new Girl Scout Thin Mint Cookie Blizzard — a perk of being CEO of Berkshire Hathaway Inc., which owns International Dairy Queen Inc. — Buffett chatted with six area Girl Scouts.

When one asked Buffett about how he chooses which charities to support, he said to look for the most effective ones whose mission you believe in.

Buffett announced in 2006 that he will steadily give away the bulk of his fortune. Most of his stock in Berkshire Hathaway will go to five charitable foundations, with the largest portion going to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

The other four foundations to receive large gifts from Buffett include three run by his three children and one he and his first wife established.

Besides Dairy Queen, Omaha-based Berkshire owns more than 60 companies in the insurance, clothing, furniture, jewelry, candy, restaurant and natural gas industries. It holds large stakes in such major companies as Coca-Cola Co., Anheuser-Busch Cos. and Wells Fargo & Co.

By Associated Press
JOSH FUNK

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