NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- The corporate power lunch is synonymous with Gordon Gekko's steak tartar in Wall Street -- a mound of raw red flesh as metaphor the go-for-the-throat meddle of would-be cutthroat capitalists. The corporate charitable lunch, on the other hand, is synonymous with a finely grilled filet mignon with mild-mannered Berkshire Hathaway ( BRK-B) chief Warren Buffett. Buffett's annual charity lunch and its lucky winner -- a winner who has laid out millions of dollars in past years for the honor -- has become a minor sign in the major charitable giving of the Berkshire Hathaway chief. Indeed,
Buffett's philanthropic side was recently brought to light when he slipped to third in the annual ranking by Forbes of the world's richest men -- a slide in part caused by Buffett's big-hearted giving. As a demographic group, however, TheStreet readership is less a reflection of grandfatherly Buffett than the app-happy fan club of Steve Jobs and Apple ( AAPL), and dollar-stock-gamblers tuning into the stock market's version of a slot machine: Sirius XM Radio ( SIRI). TheStreet readership interests mirror, quite obviously, the interests of Wall Street. As anyone evenly remotely familiar with corporate America knows, it's not just about earnings per share and CEOs when it comes to corporate world high profiles. Indeed, as high-profile as Buffett and Jobs, and as exposed as satellite radio, is American's favorite spectacle: Tiger Woods. Tiger made his mea culpa and is headed back out to the tee for The Masters. Would he have time before he retakes the Augusta course for lunch with a reader of TheStreet, if readers deemed a lunch with Tiger worthy of a $1 million donation to charity? Tiger could use the good press, to say the least. Tiger's Sunday interview with ESPN during which the golf great said he made lots of mistakes -- his second mea culpa in the past few weeks -- was judged an awkward affair by some observers in the press. Tiger did not look like he would make for much of a fun lunch partner based on his uncomfortable on-air demeanor, so maybe it's for the best that in this poll Tiger finished last. Nevertheless, in a nod to our readership, and in the Buffett-inspired spirit of charitable giving, we asked our reader last week: If you could donate $1 million to share a steak lunch with Warren Buffett, Steve Jobs, Tiger Woods, or Howard Stern and Mel Karmazin, who would you choose? Tiger, for starters, may need the good press, but apparently the tainted golfer is still toxic as far as being a lunch partner, according to our survey. Only 4% of survey respondents were willing to pay the charitable piper $1 million for the honor of sharing a steak with the golf great (perhaps they worry the $1 million being diverted from charity to Vegas shenanigans).
In fourth place on the list of charity-lunch favorite was Steve Jobs. And for all the Apple-love that readers of TheStreet regularly demonstrate, only 15% of the technology cult of investors would donate $1 million to charity for the pleasure of Jobs' lunch company. This is slightly curious, as one might think that, at least compared to Sirius XM investors, the Apple crowd would have the capital to afford the charitable contribution. Berkshire Hathaway's Warren Buffett -- the only one of the survey choices to actually offer such a charity lunch auction -- finished in third place in the survey, with 22% of survey takers indicating that they would fork over the million dollars to their favorite charity to share a steak with the Oracle of Omaha. It's hard to argue with the logic of at least getting some investing tips from the most famous investor in world history -- as well as some of Buffett's famous homespun wisdom and humor -- in exchange for the hefty donation. It is, to say the least, better than getting some pointers on which new iPhone apps are the coolest; while a peek into Tiger Woods' black book is probably unquantifiable. Which bring us to the survey's second-place finishers: Howard Stern and Sirius XM CEO Mel Karmazin. The first question we raise in reponse to this result is how, exactly, shareholders of Sirius XM -- after a 4% loss on Friday down to 82 cents a share, a step back after having reached over the $1 mark in the last week of February -- could afford to donate $1 million to charity for the pleasure of Howard Stern's company at the lunch table? Sirius XM shares were down slightly in the pre-market on Monday. Nonetheless, the indefatigable Sirius XM fans comprised 25% of survey takers who indicated that a lunch with Howard Stern and Sirius XM CEO Mel Karmazin was worth a $1 million check -- a worthy charity might, in fact, be Sirius XM shareholders. It was something of a victory for Sirius XM's very vocal investment club, we guess. However, while Sirius XM's marquee properties may have bested Jobs and even Buffett among celebrity lunch favorites, they only finished second in this poll's rendering -- becuase after all was said and done, the lunch table won't be laid for any of these capitalist bigwigs and their big-hearted fans. The top result: approximately 34% of survey respondents said they would rather keep their $1 million than donate the money to charity and lunch with any of these guys. Gordon Gekko, at least, would approve. Apparently, greed is still good. -- Reported by Eric Rosenbaum in New York. Follow TheStreet.com on Twitter and become a fan on Facebook.