Business, Finance & Economics

Warren Buffett lunch goes for a paltry $1 million

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Warren Buffett (R) with the president of Japanese firm Tungaloy, Yoshito Uehara (back L), upon his arrival at Tokyo's Haneda airport on Nov. 20, 2011.

Credit:

YOSHIKAZU TSUNO

Talk about a deal. Having lunch with billionaire Warren Buffett and his posse cost one lucky bidder just $1 million in this year's online charity auction.

That's a steal compared to the record $3.5 million an anonymous bidder paid last year.

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In fact, this year's $1 million price is the smallest since 2007, according to CNN.

The anemic bidding left observers stunned, with some even suggesting a glitch may have occurred.

Last-minute bid have pushed the price to record levels in recent years, and bidding had neared the $1 million mark by mid-day Friday, leading some to speculate this year's event could top $4 million.

Proceeds from the auction go to the Glide Foundation, which helps the poor and homeless in San Francisco. The nonprofit uses a good chunk of the event for its $17 million annual budget.

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Glide officials tried to put on a happy face, telling supporters $1 million was "nothing to sneeze at," although founder the Rev. Cecil Williams told the San Francisco Business Journal budget cuts are likely as a result.

Buffett will spend several hours discussing whatever the winner wants to talk about at posh New York City steakhouse Smith & Wollensky.

Last year's Buffett lunch was the most-expensive charity item ever sold on eBay.

The most expensive item ever sold on eBay was a jet that drew $4.9 million in 2001, eBay spokeswoman Karen Sayah told The Associated Press.