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$2.11 Million Lunch Bill: Historical Look at Lunch with Warren Buffett

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Warren BuffetToday marks the day that Zhao Danyang, winner of the 2008 Warren Buffett charity lunch, will be dining with the Oracle of Omaha at Smith & Wollensky steakhouse. Zhao Danyang, who runs the Pureheart China Growth Investment Fund in Hong Kong donated a whopping $2.11 million to the Glide Foundation for the opportunity to invite seven of his closest friends to join him and Warren Buffet.

Buffett has been doing these charity auctions for several years and it wasn’t until 2003 did the auctions move online. The proceeds benefit the Glide Foundation, a San Francisco non-profit that offers housing, job training, health and child care, and meals for the poor. In addition to the winner’s donation, Smith & Wollensky also donates $10,000 to the charity as well.

Until 2003, the auctions were held live and netted anywhere from $25,000 to $32,000 according to this USA Today article. Since then, the price have jumped considerably with the introduce of eBay as the auction mechanism.

So how much has a lunch cost in the past?

  • 2003 – $250,100 – David Einhorn of Greenlight Capital hedge fund,
  • 2004 – $202,100 – Jason Choo of Singapore (later increased his donation to $250k)
  • 2005 – $351,100 – Anonymous winner
  • 2006 – $620,100 – Won by Yongping Duan, a famous Chinese business figure who founded Subor Electronics Industry Corporation and BKK Electronics Group.
  • 2007 – $650,100 – Two investors, Mohnish Pabrai, of Pabrai Investment Funds, and Guy Spier of Aquamarine Capital Management LLC. Pabrai will pay 2/3s, Spier the other third.
  • 2008 – $2.11 million, won by Zhao Danyang, who runs the Pureheart China Growth Investment Fund in Hong Kong.

Things were good in 2008, weren’t they? I wonder how much this year’s lunch will go for?

Answer: $1,680,300.00

(Photo: TEDizen)

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10 Responses to “$2.11 Million Lunch Bill: Historical Look at Lunch with Warren Buffett”

  1. Wow…that is some interesting piece of info, now only if ebay allowed me to bid i could have had Warren Buffet over at my place to learn some things…for others the cheaper option is to buy a share of his firm (I think you can take a friend with you) to get an invite to the annual shareholders meeting…

  2. While I highly respect Warren B and his philanthropic causes, he does have faults…

    starting with, not being more active in this crisis!

    • Jim says:

      How much more active would you have liked him to be? I think the days of Rockefeller swooping in with guarantees is over, the dollar amounts we’re talking about today are far in excess of what one person can muster.

      • I should have been more clear…I was talking about his contribution in expertise…

        While I think Uncle Ben is doing the best he can with a terrible situation; Buffet should be on every committee meeting and essentially be his right hand man.

  3. I’ll start the bidding at 99 cents :)

    I’ve always thought this was a pretty cool idea. Really, everyone wins. The winner gets a cool experience (and publicity for his/her company), the charity gets a nice donation, and Buffet gets to spur other into thinking about philanthropy.

  4. jillianlou says:

    The current bid is less than $200k. BIG difference from 2.1 Mil. Looking at previous years though, last year does seem to be somewhat of an outlier. What a fabulous opportunity…

  5. Henry says:

    2004: Jason Choo
    2006: Yongping Duan
    2008: Zhao Danyang
    20??: Jim Wang

    :-)

  6. Good for the charity . . .

    The question I have is, “Did these guys really get information worth more than they paid?”


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