Image: Italian truffle hunter and trader Cristiano Savini holds a 1.5kg (3.3lb) white truffle of Tuscany in downtown Rome
Tony Gentile  /  Reuters
Italian truffle hunter and trader Cristiano Savini holds the 3.3-pound white truffle in Rome on Tuesday.
updated 12/1/2007 11:31:24 PM ET 2007-12-02T04:31:24

A Macau casino mogul bid a record $330,00 at auction Saturday to win a giant white truffle dug up in Tuscany, organizers said.

Billionaire Stanley Ho made the winning bid for the 3.3 pound truffle during an auction staged simultaneously in Florence, London and at Ho’s Grand Lisboa hotel in Macau, said auction organizer Giselle Oberti.

The price bested the previous record for a truffle of $212,000, she said.

The unusually heavy truffle was dug up last week by truffle hunter Cristiano Savini, his father Luciano and dog Rocco in Palaia, a town about 25 miles from Pisa. The Savinis said Rocco started sniffing “like crazy” when he zeroed in on the fungus.

Guinness World Records lists a 2.86 pound white truffle found in Croatia in 1999 as the biggest.

Truffles usually weigh from 1 to 2.8 ounces apiece. Slivers of white truffles, with their strong aroma, are prized in Italy to flavor pasta sauces and rice dishes.

Proceeds from the auction were to go to an Italian organization that helps sufferers of genetic diseases, a group that helps street children in London and Catholic charities in Macau.

Calls to Ho weren’t immediately returned late Saturday.

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