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Italian truffles fetch $330,000

A casino mogul bid $330,000 (£211,000) for a pair of white truffles, including one weighing about 2lb (900g), matching the record price he paid at the same event three years ago for one of the giant fungi.

The billionaire Stanley Ho made the winning bid on Saturday at a charity auction through representatives of his company Sociedade de Jogos de Macau.

The pair included a huge truffle dug up in the central Tuscany region weighing about 2lb as well as one found in Molise weighing about 14oz.

The auction was staged at Mr Ho's Grand Lisboa hotel in the former Portuguese colony of Macau, with bidders participating simultaneously in Rome and London through a satellite link.

In 2007, Mr Ho paid $330,000 for a Tuscan white truffle weighing about 3lb 5oz.