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Tidy sum for Jackson’s hat

A Masterton man’s 12-year wait to sell an iconic fedora worn by international pop star Michael Jackson has been well worth it, as the memorabilia has now fetched what he regards as a big premium.

As reported earlier this year, Jamie Olsen inherited the hat from his brother Danny Gay, an avid Jackson fan who caught it after the singer threw it into the crowd at the HIStory World Tour concert in Auckland in 1996.

The buyer is Los Angeles-based New Zealander Liam McEwan, who currently works for Jackson’s son Prince, and is a big fan of the ‘King of Pop’. He was alerted to the memorabilia’s existence by the Times-Age’s previous coverage.

“He had to have it,” Olsen said.

The hat, which sold for $15,000, will now be displayed in a permanent collection at the Jackson family’s Hayvenhurst estate.

Having received a $1000 deposit, Olsen will ship the item to Liam McEwan’s parents in Auckland, who will hand deliver it to their son in LA in about a month.

Olsen had previously tried to auction the hat online but, after becoming overwhelmed by the online marketplace and media attention, he stored the hat away, confident that its value would only increase.

However, his mum recently encouraged him to sell the hat, lest it be damaged to hungry insects.

Although Olsen suspects he could have got more money for the fedora, he’s happy “it’s going where it is loved, and it’s going to be looked after”.

Olsen’s brother died of cancer at 29, leaving behind two children – now in their early 20s – who he’s promised to split the proceeds of the hat sale with.

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