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Buyer of Harry Potter Prequel Seeks to Use Item for More Charity Fundraising

Posted by: sue
June 11, 2008, 11:47 AM

The buyer of the new Harry Potter prequel, which you can read online via this link to Waterstone’s or this new link, says he purchased the special note card donated by J.K. Rowling in hopes that he will be able to do more for charity. reports the new owner of the Harry Potter prequel note card sold last night at a charity auction in London, England, is Hira Digpal, president of a Tokyo-based investment-banking consulting company, Red-33. The article notes that the new owner “who originally had a closed bid of 50,000 pounds before halving his offer, said he faxed a letter to Rowling’s publisher asking for the author’s cooperation to use the story in a way that would raise more money for charity. He declined to give details of the proposal. “Here I am, owning a piece of literary history,’’ said Digpal in a phone interview from Tokyo. “I think I got a bargain. Hopefully, we can raise much more than the sale.’‘

As we’ve reported several times previously, this note card featuring a short story involving Sirius Black and James Potter 3 years before Harry was born, along with the 12 other cards from various authors such as Tom Stoppard, Neil Gaiman, Margaret Atwood among others will be published on August 7 by Waterstones, with proceeds to benefit English Pen and Dyslexia Action in the UK. At this time we do not know what other efforts may be made with the card for charity, however pre-orders for the book containing the Harry Potter prequel card are available via this link.

Last night proved to be an exciting time for the auction. Bloomberg continues to describe how Mr. Digpal ended up winning the card, saying “Digpal’s bid topped the offer of one of the crowd of 100 guests who attended the event, conducted by Sotheby’s auctioneer Edward Rising at Waterstone’s branch in Piccadilly. The Rowling lot attracted interest from only one bidder in the room. “I told them, if it gets past my limit, call me—wake me up,’’ said Digpal, 36, a Briton who received the news that he’d won at 5:27 a.m. “I was thinking of buying stocks, but the market’s been very volatile. It’s a good investment for when I kick the bucket in 30, 40, 50 years’ time.’’ ...

Asked why the auction had been an invitation-only event, without participation from the general public, Johnson said: ``We felt this was the best way to do it. This was a charity auction. It wasn’t exclusively about making money.’‘

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