June 17 (Reuters) – A lucky and likely wealthy person has bid more than $19 million to dine with Warren Buffett, in the 21st and final time the billionaire businessman auctioned off a private lunch to benefit from a charity in San Francisco.

The winning bid in the eBay auction that ended on Friday night easily surpassed the previous high of $4.57 million, paid in 2019 by cryptocurrency entrepreneur Justin Sun, although the identity of the new winner could not be immediately determined.

Proceeds benefit Glide, a nonprofit in the Tenderloin neighborhood of San Francisco that helps the poor, homeless, or those struggling with addiction. Glide provides meals, shelter, HIV and Hepatitis C testing, job training, and children’s programs.

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Buffett, 91, chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway Inc (BRKa.N), raised more than $53.2 million for Glide in 21 auctions, which began in 2000.

An eBay spokeswoman said the lunch was the most expensive item ever sold on the company’s website to benefit charity.

No auctions took place in 2020 and 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Buffett became a Glide supporter after his first wife Susan, who died in 2004, introduced him to the charity, where she had volunteered.

He has also pledged to give away almost all of his fortune. Buffett was worth $93.4 billion as of Friday, ranking seventh in the world, according to Forbes magazine.

The winner of this year’s auction and up to seven guests will dine with Buffett at the Smith & Wollensky steakhouse in Manhattan.

Buffett will talk about almost everything, but not where he might invest next.

Hedge fund managers David Einhorn and Ted Westchler are among the previous auction winners.

Westchler became Berkshire’s portfolio manager after paying $5.25 million to win the 2010 and 2011 auctions.

Berkshire owns dozens of companies, including railroad BNSF, auto insurance Geico, energy, manufacturing and retail, and stocks such as Apple Inc (AAPL.O) and Bank of America Corp (BAC.N).

Buffett still owns nearly 16% of the Omaha, Nebraska-based conglomerate, despite donating more than half of its shares since 2006, including $4 billion on June 14.

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Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York, additional reporting by Jahnavi Nidumolu in Bengaluru; Editing by David Gregorio and Clarence Fernandez

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