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A stranger pays $19 million to have dinner with Warren Buffett at the latest auction

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It’s going to be one of the most expensive dinners in history. Not for the awards from Smith & Wollensky, the steakhouse on New York’s Third Avenue where it will be held, but for the right to share it with Warren Buffett, the Oracle of Omaha, one of the richest men in the world. It was the last auction to have dinner with him, and it was settled with a record bid of $19 million from a person who chose to remain anonymous. The funds go to charities, to a Charity organization in San Francisco (California).

Warren Buffett, 91, and his partner Charlie Munger, 98, slammed cryptocurrencies at their last shareholder meeting just over a month and a half ago. Since then, Bitcoin has fallen 58% and other cryptocurrencies even more. It’s the kind of advice that could monetize a $19 million dinner. It was exactly one cryptocurrency entrepreneur, Justin Sun, who set the previous record of $4.57 million in 2019. There was no buffet dinner in 2020 and 2021 due to the pandemic.

The auction runs all week on eBay. The starting price was $25,000. The deal soon became a millionaire, but it didn’t really heat up until this Friday when it closed at midnight. The winning bid was a last minute bid of $19,000,100. The financier had announced that this would be the last dinner it would be auctioning off, which no doubt fueled the bids.

More than $53 million was raised during the dinner buffets. The first took place in 2000 and was won with a bid of just $25,000. The following year the price dropped to $18,000. In 2006 it was already $620,000 and in 2008 it was over $2 million.

“It was only good,” the businessman said in a statement. “I met a lot of interesting people from all over the world. The only universal trait is that they feel the money is being used for very good causes.”

Entrepreneurs, financiers and fund managers were among the winners of the dinners, although anonymity was maintained half the time. One of the winners, Ted Weschler, was hired by Buffett to be his portfolio manager after winning the auction two years in a row, in 2010 and 2011, at $2.6 million a year.

He knows all sides of the coin in detail.

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Nervousness and excitement at the auction

The funds are coming Glide, a San Francisco-based charity which aims to fight poverty and social injustice and to help poor, vulnerable or homeless people. Glide CEO Karen Hanrahan showed her nervousness at the gala where the final portion of the auction was broadcast. Hanrahan’s voice shook a little. She could hardly stop looking at the screen as she spoke from the podium: “My God, I’m nervous. And I’m not usually nervous. I’m nervous because these numbers are so big…” her intervention began. With 10 minutes left, the auction had raised $13.1 million.

“I don’t know about you, but just looking at the numbers on the screen gives me some hope and inspiration,” he added. The figure didn’t move until the last minute. Suddenly it rose to 17.2 million and already triggered euphoria in the room. With 18 seconds left, the winning offer came: 19 million. The choir attending the gala sang, “Hallelujah, Hallelujah!” Hanrahan let out a yell and repeated the number in a broken voice.

The winner can bring up to seven guests, reducing the cost per place setting.

Source elpais.com

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