A lunch with Warren Buffett is easily the most expensive lunch and it has become an annual ritual. This year again he will place a meal and a few hours of his time on the auction block and since 2008 it has fetched a minimum of $1.6 million. Last year the top bid was a new record at $3.46 million. This year’s bid is also expected to be a new record and the proceeds will go to the Glide Foundation, a charity that works with San Francisco’s homeless. The lunch, like in previous years will be at New York’s Smith and Wollensky steak house. It has become a trend with celebrities to auction a lunch along with a few hours time for a charitable cause. Charity Buzz, a fundraising group based in New York, auctions dinners with big name celebrities regularly. We have listed below those that fetched top dollars.
Tim Cook, the CEO of Apple could not spare the time for dinner and offered to spare an hour for a cup of coffee. 86 bidders were eager to spend some quality time with the high profile businessman. It was an anonymous bidder who won the bid for $610,000 which went to support the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights. Bill Clinton makes himself available for meals regularly in order to raise money for his William J Clinton Foundation. The February 2012 auction for a day with Clinton including the meals fetched $255,000 which is a record for Clinton meals.
Michael Bloomberg, the billionaire mayor of New York agreed to put a lunch on the block for supporting the Humane Society and received the highest bid of $185,000. Bloomberg is perhaps the most well informed man in New York and naturally there were many who were willing to pay to spend an hour in his company.
Rupert Murdock, the media mogul is another well informed person as he owns Fox News and The Wall Street Journal. He agreed to donate a meal in support of the Global Poverty Project. However, he was in affix when his strident critic Media Matters won the bid for $86,000.
George Clooney has perhaps the largest fan base amongst the movie stars. It is natural that there would be many amongst his fans who would be willing to pay large amounts for the opportunity to spend time with him over a meal. He raised $58,000 for the benefit of Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network.
Emeril Lagasse, the famed chef runs his own Emeril Lagasse foundation. For raising funds for the foundation he auctioned a dinner with himself and Cajun artist George Rodrigue which fetched him a significant $56,000. Elton John boasts of a large fan base. He has always been respected as a musician. He didn’t auction a simple dinner with himself but made it an invitation to his post-Oscar party. The successful bidder paid $52,500 which went to the Robert Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights.
Alan Greenspan was disappointed with response his dinner auctions received after a brilliant start. In 2007, the dinner he auctioned in support of the Robert Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights had fetched a significant $45,000. There was an unexplained dip the very next year when a similar auction received the highest bid of only $11,000.