Today 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?
(Photo: TEDizen )