The highly coveted annual “Power Lunch” with investing legend Warren Buffett is about to be sold for a new record price exceeding $4 million, when the eBay auction ends at 7 p.m. PT Friday night.
The charity auction, started last Sunday at $25,000, has so far fetched 14 bids from five pre-qualified bidders.
The highest bidder is leading the race at $4,000,100, slightly above the $4 million bid placed by the runner-up, who appears to have also participated in last year’s auction, according to account information listed on the bidding history.
Whether the leading bidder wins or not, this year’s “Power Lunch” is poised to break the previous record price of $3.46 million paid by an anonymous winner in 2017.
Since its launch in 2000, the “Power Lunch with Warren Buffett” has raised more than $30 million to support various social causes through the Glide Memorial Church in San Francisco, to which Buffett’s late wife Susan Buffett had a close relationship.
Past winners included several businessmen from China, Singapore and India. American investors, including Ted Weschler, who later became an employee at Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway, won most of the early auctions between 2000 and 2011.
Like all previous “Power Lunches,” this year’s winner will be allowed to bring up to seven friends to a fancy meal with Buffett at the Smith & Wollensky Steakhouse in New York, over which they will have a chance to hear the 88-year-old billionaire talk about career advice, life lessons and hopefully more.
Here’s a complete list of past buyers of the “Power Lunch” and how much they paid:
2018: $3.3 million Anonymous
2017: $2.68 million Anonymous
2016: $3.46 million Anonymous
2015: $2.35 million Zhu Ye of Dalian Zeus Entertainment Co. (China)
2014: $2.16 million Andy Chua (Singapore)
2013: $1 million Anonymous
2012: $3.46 million Anonymous
2011: $2.63 million Ted Weschler (U.S.)
2010: $2.63 million Ted Weschler (U.S.)
2009: $1.68 million Courtenay Wolfe of Salida Capital (Canada)
2008: $2.1 million Zhao Danyang of Pure Heart Asset Management (China)
2007: $650,100 Mohnish Pabrai, Guy Spier and Harina Kapoor (India)
2006: $620,100 Yongping Duan (U.S.)
2005: $351,100 Anonymous
2004: $202,100 Jason Choo (Singapore)
2003: $250,100 David Einhorn of Greenlight Capital (U.S.)
2002: $25,000 Jim Halperin and Scott Tilson (U.S.)
2001: $20,000 Jim Halperin and Scott Tilson (U.S.)
2000: $25,000 Pete Budlong (U.S.)