How ex-gaming addict turned $200k into $10m

“The best game in life is life itself,” landlord Gary Lin says

Chinese migrant, Auckland landlord and ex-video game addict Gary Lin started out with a $200,000 wedding gift from his father in late 2009.

Eight years later, he turned that into an $10 million fortune, having bought 14 Auckland properties.

But he had to break a severe gaming habit to do so and says others can succeed too – but not while addicted to computer games.

Big-time landlords like Lin draw critics who say their property-buying habits stop first home buyers from getting into the market. The Reserve Bank has also long warned about New Zealand’s property-buying habits and the risk of that to the economy.

But Lin said he wanted his story to be published in the hope others would follow his lead.

“I remember coming to New Zealand as a shy boy at age 13 and going through Avondale College.

“I wasn’t that outgoing at the time, so by age 14 or 15, I got my first personal computer and was introduced to games by a good friend.”

From then on, games were an avenue to happiness because Lin lacked other interests or hobbies.

“I played chess for Avondale A team, but that was just to kill time during school lunch breaks.”

While he went through Auckland University completing Bachelor of Civil Engineering degree, all his spare time went into computer games, Lin said.