Stanley Ho, a casino tycoon from Macau, paid $330,000 for two white truffles at an auction in Hong Kong last weekend. The auction was held at Ho’s own Grand Lisboa hotel, although bidders vied for the truffles as far away as Rome and London. This is the fourth year in a row that Ho has won the truffle auction.
This year, Ho’s $330,000 won him one 900 gram white truffle, and one 400 gram truffle, about three pounds of fabulous fungi in all. The truffle was grown in Tuscany and imported to Hong Kong for the auction.
In 2007, Ho paid the same amount for a 1.5 kilogram truffle, which is about the same weight as both of these put together. Two weeks ago, a Chinese wine critic paid $139,000 for a giant white truffle in Alba, Italy. Apparently, truffle-buying is a growing trend for wealthy Chinese businessmen. At these prices, you might even call it a competitive sport.