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'Blessed' Cheese Sandwich Sells for $28,000

A woman who said her 10-year-old grilled cheese sandwich bore the image of the Virgin Mary (search) will be getting a lot more bread after the item sold for $28,000 on eBay.

GoldenPalace.com, an online casino, confirmed that it placed the winning bid, and company executives said they were willing to spend "as much as it took" to own the 10-year-old half-sandwich with a bite out of it.

"It's a part of pop culture that's immediately and widely recognizable," spokesman Monty Kerr told The Miami Herald. "We knew right away we wanted to have it."

Photos posted on eBay show what can be viewed as a woman's face emblazoned on the sandwich, a bite taken out of one end. Bidding closed Monday.

In a statement, GoldenPalace.com CEO Richard Rowe said he planned to use the sandwich to raise money for charity. Kerr and Steve Baker, CEO of GoldenPalace's management company, Cyberworld Group, flew to south Florida on Monday to make arrangements for a sandwich handover from its owner, Diana Duyser.

"I would like all people to know that I do believe that this is the Virgin Mary Mother of God," Duyser, a work-from-home jewelry designer, said in the casino's statement.

The online auction site initially pulled the sale, saying it didn't post joke items. The page was restored after the company was convinced that Duyser would deliver on the bid, said eBay spokesman Hani Durzy.

Duyser said she took a bite after making the sandwich 10 years ago and saw a face staring back at her. She put the sandwich in a clear plastic box with cotton balls and kept it on her night stand. She said the sandwich has never sprouted a spore of mold.