Three gruelling months of sleeplessness and renovations paid off last night for three of the four couples competing in this year's series of The Block. But Brenton and Chez's dream was shattered when they left empty-handed.
The Block, situated on New South Head Road in Vaucluse, consists of four apartments, each allocated to one of the four couples competing for a first prize of $100,000 in cash. In addition, couples were also entitled to pocket any difference between the sale price and the allocated reserve. There was no compensation should an apartment be passed in.
With so much time and effort invested, the couples watched on nervously as the hammer fell — three times only.
The Block auction results: 2010
Neisha and John
Takeaway: 205,000.00 + $100,000 prize money
Erin and Jake
Mark and Duncan
Brenton and Chez
For first-placegetters Neisha and John their total take-home prize is $305,000, an amount they say will go straight towards the purchase of a home in which they can raise their family.
"It just makes life that bit easier," said Neisha. "We'll be able to buy a great house, I'll be able to work part-time. It's the stuff people dream about. I feel as though I've won the lottery."
Neisha and John's sun-drenched ground-floor apartment was the only apartment with a grassed courtyard and outdoor entertaining space. Their reserve price was set at $900,000, second highest after Erin and Jake's.
Second-placegetters Erin and Jake appeared thrilled with their take-home total of $87,500. "We are very happy, more than happy," said Jake. "We had no expectations," added a beaming Erin. Both praised the show as a great way to learn valuable skills for their own home renovation.
Of the $87,500 prize money, Erin explained "most will go to the mortgage but some might go to a Christmas holiday, or a second honeymoon."
The two fat tradies Mark and Duncan were third in line, selling their quiet ground-floor apartment at the back of The Block for the bargain price of $907,000.
Mark and Duncan's apartment was the only lot with two lock-up garages and the tradies admitted to feeling disappointed in the sale price. However both said they'd had an incredible experience and despite the end result they'd do it all again.
"We've seen sides of ourselves we never knew we had," said Mark, adding that the real pleasure of the experience had been making people laugh. "That's what it's all about."
The invitation-only auction occurred in Sydney at the Vaucluse House Tea rooms on November 23, the night before it aired on TV.
Watch our exclusive after-auction interviews with the four couples:
>>Neisha and John
>>Erin and Jake
>>Mark and Duncan
>>Brenton and Chez
Your say: Who do you think deserved to win? Leave your thoughts below.