In order to be able to bid on the auction, you’ll need to fork over a minimum of $25,000 (the minimum starting bid) and be preapproved before you can make a bid. $25,000 is just the starting point, and the auction is likely to jump to a much higher price in the opening moments. The real bidding, however, is likely to come in the closing hour of the auction.
In 2013, the winning bid was just over $1 million ($1,000,100), but that was considered a huge bargain compared to years past. The 2012 price for lunch with the Oracle of Omaha reached $3.45 million ($3,456,789), the highest ever paid for the lunch, and the highest charity item ever sold on eBay. In the years 2008 – 2011, the top bids all topped $1 million, with most of them topping $2 million. It seems pretty likely that this year’s auction will again reach seven figures with the way that the stock market has performed, and go beyond the amount which was brought in last year.
The money from the auction goes to the Glide Foundation, which provides a number of services to the homeless and poor, including healthcare, housing support and rehabilitation, job training and meals. This is one of the major fundraisers for the charity which has an annual budget of $18 million. In addition to the money raised from the auction, the charity gets a huge amount of exposure from the event.
For the the winners, the topics of conversation at the luncheon are open to almost any topic, except what the billionaire might invest in next. He is more than happy to talk about his “boring” investing advice, his money tips, things that few people know about him, or virtually any other topic that may come up. You might even be able to get an inside scoop on any plans he has for the Billion Dollar Bracket Challenge in 2015.
If you’re curious as to why Warren Buffett does this lunch auction each year, the Glide Foundation asked him to answer this question in his own words. He saw the transformational power of this charity to those who the world had seemed to have given up on, and they way the charity was improving the lives of others. You can see the video below: