Bidding begins for lunch with Warren Buffett

June 3, 2013: 9:27 AM ET
warren buffett lunch
Warren Buffett's annual charity lunch auction has raised more than $9 million in the last four years.

Bidding for the most expensive power lunch of the year kicked off Sunday evening, with investment guru Warren Buffett's annual effort to raise money for a poverty-fighting charity.

This is the 14th year that Berkshire Hathaway (BRKA) CEO Buffett is auctioning off a lunch for eight on eBay. (EBAY) Proceeds for the lunch, which will be held at New York City steakhouse Smith & Wollensky, will go to San Francisco charity GLIDE, which fights poverty and serves about 800,000 meals each year to the poor.

Last year's winning bid was close to $3.5 million from an anonymous bidder. Since it began in 2000, the auction has raised more than $15 million for the charity, with $9 million of that coming in the last four years alone.

The bidders must all be pre-qualified. Bidding started Sunday evening at the minimum $25,000 price and had reached already over $130,000 by Monday morning.

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Buffett has become one of the world's leading philanthropists. He is giving away the bulk of his fortune worth tens of billions, with the largest donation going to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the charity run by his friend, Microsoft (MSFT) founder Bill Gates.

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Buffett has also has started The Giving Pledge, an effort that has signed up more than 100 billionaires around the globe, who have pledged to donate half of their net worth during their lifetime, or at their death.

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