A man yesterday paid $620,000 to buy back the car registration plate that his late grandmother had owned. The man, who only wanted to be identified as Mr Ma, said yesterday he bought back the licence plate XX 16 to remember his grandmother, who died about a year ago. 'The plate will now stay in the family,' he said. Mr Ma said since the plate could not be transferred he had asked the Transport Department to include it in yesterday's auction. 'I've waited for more than one year. The licence plate means a lot to me,' he said. Forty licence plates were put up for auction by the department at the Convention and Exhibition Centre yesterday. A total of $9,372,000 was paid for 39 plates. The highest price paid was $760,000 for the plate DD 6. The successful bidder was a woman who refused to disclose her identity. The next most popular plates - 929 and KK 1 - were purchased by two buyers for a combined $650,000. The proceeds of the auction will go to the government lotteries fund for charity purposes. The licence plate KJ 789 was withdrawn after the bidding only reached $1,000, the lowest at the auction. An ugly incident marred the 620th auction organised by the Transport Department when the registration plate KF 2 was offered. A young couple was surrounded by a group of more than 10 youths whose boss was also bidding for the plate. The bidding started at $6,800 but as the couple bid, they were abused by the youths. They eventually withdrew when it reached $175,000. The couple called for police assistance when the youths trailed them as they left the auction room. Police later escorted the couple out of the Convention and Exhibition Centre. Police said the couple claimed some of the youths had taken pictures of them. The youths left before officers arrived.