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Hundreds queue to see Dotcom mansion opened for school fundraiser

Published: 11:39AM Saturday November 24, 2012 Source: ONE News

Almost 1000 people have queued around the block for a peek at internet tycoon Kim Dotcom's Coatesville mansion today, as the German millionaire open his gates to the public.

The $30 million property was the highlight of a tour of 11 homes in the area owned by wealthy residents, which granted access to the public in the name of charity.

The Christmas in Coatesville 2012 tour aims to raise more than $120,000 for the local Coatesville School, with 10% of the profits also being donated to the Gynaecological Cancer Foundation.

Did you take part in the mansion tour? Send your photos to  news@tvnz.co.nz

Tickets for the event cost $60 and entitled the holder to enter the 11 properties. For an extra $40 members of the public were able to buy an additional "golden ticket" which allowed them to visit Dotcom's mansion.

Organisers said out of the 1300 tickets sold for the tour, 800 of them were for the Dotcom mansion.

Groups of 50 people were ushered into the grounds of the sprawling property at a time; however, access to the building itself was off-limits. Doors and windows were left open though, so visitors could look inside.

Early-birds were given an extra bonus when Dotcom came out of his home to greet them, spending time shaking hands before going back inside. Others were lucky enough to get their photographs taken with the man himself.

Security was tight around the mansion, which was the scene of this year's police raids, when the German national was arrested.

Police swooped on the rented home in January and Dotcom stands accused of breaching copyright laws costing owners more than US$500 million. US authorities are attempting to extradite him to face the charges.

And it seems it was this notoriety which attracted so many to the millionaire's gates.

One man told ONE News he had flown from Christchurch this morning in order to get a sneak peek of Dotcom's property.

"It's one of New Zealand's biggest homes and there's a larger-than-life character living there, so all-in-all it should be pretty exciting," he said.

Another man admitted he wanted to see the house because he was "a snooper".

"He's an icon in the public eye in New Zealand, so I'm just interested in seeing the house. I'm also interested in seeing the quality of the building, because it's a magnificent looking place," he said.

One patient couple said they were willing to queue as long as it took in order to see it.

"I can't wait, I'm very excited about it," the man said.

"They told us we could be an-hour-and-a-half standing here, but we're going to do it. We're going to go to the Dotcom house, we can't wait."

Asked what the appeal of the mansion was, the man said: "Well, I think it's all the publicity isn't it? I want to see what's going on up there.

"There'll be lots to see and it'll be a lot of fun I think."

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