With 18 hours to go it stands at $851,100, which, given Limbaugh’s promise to match the final amount, means the Marine Corps Law Enforcement Foundation is looking at about $2 million when the smoke clears. Ebay requires identity verification for bids over $15,000 and doubtless they’re scrutinizing this particular auction extra closely so I can only assume the bids are all legitimate. But if they are, how to explain this afternoon’s action?

ebay.png

y***t’s bid at 13:01:48 PDT leapfrogged r***c’s by more than $100,000. That’s explainable if you assume Y’s looking to be generous by donating as much as possible. What’s less explainable is why he then starts bidding against himself in $25,000 increments starting at 13:05:55 PDT; two minutes later he’s doubled the top bid to $500,000. If he wanted to be that generous, why didn’t he just top r***c with a $500,000 bid at 13:01? At first glance I thought maybe Ebay’s software limits you to a certain amount if you’re bidding against yourself, which would account for the $25,000 increments. Not so, though: notice that his last bid in the series goes from $400,000 directly to half a million. (There’s a huge jump in d***r’s bids, too, but the timestamps are screwy there so I’m not sure if he was bidding against himself at the time.) Exit question: Could the latest bids be a hoax to drive the numbers up by a pair of judgment-proof lefties willing to risk a lawsuit to break Limbaugh’s heart?

Update: I guess the answer to that question is, if it was a hoax, would they really have arbitrarily stopped at $851,100? Why not lay down for an even million?

Update: From a commenter, here’s the probable explanation for the incremental bidding:

[T]here’s nothing strange about y***t’s multiple bids between 13:01 and 13:07. At 13:01, y***t probably bid $500,000. Since r***c’s previous bid was probably $249,900 (or something like that), Ebay’s software automatically sets the current highest bidder (at 13:01) to y***t, with a bid of $250,000. Then, someone else (maybe d***r) comes along at 13:05, and bids $274,900. Ebay’s software automatically makes the highest bidder y***t, with a current bid of $275,000. Then, d***r probably made a second bid at 13:06 of $299,900, pushing y***t’s current bid to $300,000. And so forth. ie. when you enter a bid, you just enter the highest price you’re willing to pay, and Ebay’s software automatically gives the highest bidder the lowest price possible.

Update: Come on. Is someone seriously prepared to lay out $1.2 million for this thing?

Update: Five minutes later, it’s over $2 million.