Mega interest in Dotcom mansion
Ah, the perks of popularity - or should that be infamy.
Hundreds of people queued for hours to get a first-hand look at what lies behind the rather imposing gates of the home of the man who has made more political waves in recent months that any three MPs together - internet tycoon, would-be musical artiste and a man fighting extradition to the US to face criminal charges for copyright breaches, Kim Dotcom.
What they got were glimpses of bowler hat light fittings and an aquarium television in the kitchen.
The 20-hectare Coatesville property was the highlight of a one-day, 11-home fundraising tour yesterday. About 1300 tickets were sold for the Christmas in Coatesville tour, with 800 of those including a visit to the internet tycoon's home. Tickets cost $100 a person, with proceeds going to the Coatesville School and the Gynaecological Cancer Foundation.
Visitors travelled by tour bus to the picturesque property, where they were greeted with a glass of wine and a musician playing by the swimming pool.
There were even sporadic appearances by Dotcom himself, who posed for photos and chatted with eager fans.
During the hour-long tour people could spend time in the extensive grounds but there was no going through the doors - instead they had to be content to push their noses up to the windows to take a peek at what was inside.
A heavy security presence around the property and Dotcom's personal minders kept a stern eye on the crowds to make sure no- one transgressed.
What eagle-eyed visitors could see, though, were two fully decorated Christmas trees, tennis courts, a vege patch full of budding raspberries and strawberries, and the famous fibreglass rhino. A couple of Dotcom's cars and his military tank were also on display.
While some visitors compared the playroom used by Dotcom's five children to the size of their own houses, others were thankful they did not live in such grand homes.
Dotcom took to social media to voice his enjoyment of the day, tweeting: "Great fun at the Dotcom Mansion. Raising funds for the local school. I met a lot of lovely people today."
The $30 million mansion was made famous when police stormed the home in January, arresting the Megaupload.com founder.
Sunday Star Times