High-price auctions for a chance to get a piece of billionaire Warren Buffett are nothing new — the Berkshire Hathaway chairman famously auctions off a one-on-one lunch with himself every year for millions, with the winning bidder’s money going to charitable causes.
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Now Buffett is trying his hand at another form of auction in the digital sphere.
A signed photo of Buffett is being auctioned off via eBay. Created by Motiva art, the piece features some of Buffett’s most memorable quotes overlaid on a classic portrait of the billionaire.
In white, six words “women make me optimistic about America” stand out. The proceeds from the auction will go directly to Girls Inc., a nonprofit organization in Buffett’s native Omaha, Nebraska, which provides educational and recreational programming (from robot building to exercise to public speaking) to underserved girls in the Omaha area from ages 5 through 18.
The auction, which began on August 20, will close on Tuesday, August 30, the day of Buffett’s 92nd birthday.
Buffett has famously signed the Giving Pledge, an agreement in which the world’s wealthiest pledge to give away the majority of their wealth by the end of their lifetime.
The so-called “Oracle of Omaha” has pledged to give away an astounding 99% of his wealth to charitable initiatives, mainly through Berkshire Hathaway stock.
“What I can do, however, is to take a pile of Berkshire Hathaway stock certificates — ‘claim checks’ that when converted to cash can command far-ranging resources—and commit them to benefit others who, through the luck of the draw, have received the short straws in life,” Buffett penned in a letter. “Nothing will go to endowments; I want the money spent on current needs.”
This past June, Buffett’s lunch auction brought in a record $19 million for GLIDE, a charity based in San Francisco that aims to aid those suffering from poverty and homelessness. It was the first auction of Buffett’s since 2019 due to COVID restrictions.
“I’ve met a lot of interesting people from all over the world,” Buffett said of his annual initiative. “The one universal characteristic is that they feel the money is going to be put to very good uses.”
As of Wednesday afternoon, Buffett’s portrait auction had already fetched $32,000 in bidding.