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Warren Buffett lunch goes for a paltry $1 million

This year's top bid for lunch with Warren Buffett was well below last year's record $3.5 million, and was the smallest price since 2007.

Warren buffett 2011 12 09Enlarge
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. (YOSHIKAZU TSUNO/AFP/Getty Images)

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.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/business/130608/warren-buffett-lunch-goes-1-million