Monday, 30 June 2008

$2.1m is top auction bid for dinner with Warren Buffett

A Chinese fund manager has paid $2.1m at an annual charity auction for a meal with financier Warren Buffett.

Zhao Danyang, who runs a Hong Kong fund called Pureheart China Growth, emerged victorious from a frenzy of last-minute bidding on eBay. He earns the right to bring up to seven friends for a meal with Buffett at an upmarket New York steakhouse, Smith & Wollensky.

When Buffett began his annual practice of auctioning a lunch eight years ago, the meal went for $25,000. Last year, the price reached $650,100.

The proceeds will go to the Glide Foundation, an organisation which helps the homeless and needy in San Francisco. It is a huge boost for the charity's $12m annual budget and staff shouted in celebration when the outcome became clear.

Buffett has pledged most of his $49bn fortune to the Gates Foundation, which tackles diseases in developing countries.

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