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The price of a private lunch with Warren Buffett? $3.3 million

Associated Press

An anonymous bidder offered more than $3.3 million Friday for a private lunch with Warren Buffett, an amount just short of the record paid in 2016 and 2012 for the chance to pick the brain of the renowned investor and philanthropist.

An online auction that raises money for the Glide Foundation's work to help the homeless in San Francisco ended Friday night on eBay with a winning bid of $3,300,100. The winner wished to remain anonymous.

The price was the third highest in the 18 years Buffett has offered the lunch. Winners paid $3,456,789 in 2012 and 2016, which remain the most expensive charity items ever sold on eBay.

Buffett has raised more than $26 million for the Glide Foundation through the annual auctions. Bidders continue to pay high prices for the chance to talk with Buffett, who leads Nebraska-based Berkshire Hathaway, and the event raises a significant part of Glide's $20 million annual budget.

Buffett supports Glide because of the work the charity does to help people. His first wife, Susie, introduced him to Glide after she volunteered there.

"Glide really takes people who have hit rock bottom and helps bring them back. They've been doing it for decades," Buffett said.

Glide provides meals, health care, job training, rehabilitation and housing support to the poor and homeless.

Buffett has said he gets asked about a variety of topics during the lunch. The only subject that's off limits is what Buffett might invest in next.

The winners of the lunch auction typically dine with Buffett at Smith and Wollensky steak house in New York City, which donates at least $10,000 to Glide each year to host the lunch.

Buffett's company owns more than 90 companies including insurance, furniture, railroad, jewelry, utility and candy businesses. Berkshire Hathaway also has major investments in companies including Coca-Cola Co., Apple, American Express and Wells Fargo & Co.

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