Billionaire Potanin Pays $95,000 for White Truffle

The market for white truffles in the Piedmont region is busiest in Oct. and Nov., when the Fiero del Tartufo takes place in Alba. Arnold Gatilao

Billionaire Vladimir Potanin has spent $95,000 on a rare 1.8-kilogram white truffle, the owner of New York Restaurant Nello, Nello Balan, told The New York Post.

The so-called White Alba truffle, found near oak, hazel, poplar and beech trees in Piedmont and other regions of Italy, is one of the most expensive types of truffles in the world and is, not surprisingly, also referred to as "white gold."

The chief executive of Norilsk Nickel, one of the world's largest producer of nickel and palladium, has been ranked seventh on the Forbes list of wealthiest Russians, with an estimated fortune of $14.3 billion.

Aside from being a big spender, Potanin is also known for his charity projects in education, sports and culture. In February, he became the first Russian entrepreneur to join the Giving Pledge initiative founded by U.S. tycoons Bill Gates and Warren Buffett.

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