How much is a lunch worth?
On June 7, the answer will become clear as Warren Buffett will place a meal -- and a few hours of his time -- on the auction block. For several years, the legendary investor has donated a lunch at New York's Smith and Wollensky steak house to the highest bidder, with proceeds from the auction going to the Glide Foundation, a charity that works with San Francisco's homeless. And, if recent trends continue, this year's auction will once again break a record.
Buffett's lunches are famously expensive: Since 2008, they have fetched a minimum of $1.6 million per meal, and last year's auction set a new record with a top bid of $3,456,789. Then again, while the prices seem astronomical, it isn't hard to see how they could prove profitable -- after all, who better to offer investing tips than the famed Oracle of Omaha?
When it comes to pricey dates, Buffett takes the cake, but he's hardly the only celebrity who can fetch a fortune for a few hours of his time. On the less expensive end of things, a meal with Minnesota Viking Chris Kluwe recently went for $4,050, and a dinner with teen heartthrob Josh Hutcherson went for a mere $2,250 -- a bargain for some deep-pocketed fan of The Hunger Games. And, like Buffett, Kluwe and Hutcherson have used their time to support their favorite causes: Hutcherson's time went to help Abby Marsh, a young woman who was injured in a car accident, while Kluwe's meal raised money for Vote No, a group that fought against Minnesota's anti-gay marriage amendment.
But if Hutcherson and Kluwe represent relative bargains, who takes the upper end? Charitybuzz, a New York-based fundraising group, regularly auctions off dinners with some of the country's highest rollers. Here are their top-earning meal companions:
Bruce Watson is DailyFinance's Savings editor. You can reach him by e-mail at email@example.com, or follow him on Twitter at @bruce1971.