Those of you who have watched this year’s season of The Block with any great interest will have, no doubt, screamed bloody murder at the events of last night’s finale auctions. Chiefly because one apparently very cashed-up unit swanned in and snapped up three of the five houses single-handedly.
The absolutely bonkers scenes not only saw all five houses fly in well over their reserve prices – contrary to what some quote-unquote spoiler reports claimed pre-broadcast – but with record-breaking profit wins for this year’s cast, including the largest single pay-day for any reality TV contestant in Australian history. That lofty mantle now belongs to Queensland pair Jimmy & Tam Wilkins, who walked away with a staggering prize of $1,066,000.
Arguably though the whole night belonged to the exceedingly bonkers antics of Melbourne businessman Danny Wallis, who bid wildly on all five properties, and walked away with three of them.
Wallis began proceedings with a certain degree of modesty and restraint, pushing offers on Luke and Jasmin Neuwen‘s House #4 up beyond $3.8million before ultimately bowing out. That house was ultiamtely snapped up for $3,856,000; a profit prize of $506,000 for the WA duo.
But it was on Jimmy & Tam’s house where things really went berserk. Wallis opened proceedings with a rogue $4,200,001 bid, in excess of $900,000 above reserve and immediately gifting the Wilkins two the largest single windfall in Block history.
Though Wallis ultimately fell short on the sought-after 1950s-inspired house – which went for the dumb money price of $4.256 million – Wallis wound up running the table on the remaining three properties.
In quick succession, he purchased Sarah & George Bragias‘ House #2 for $4,000,002, Daniel & Jade Joyce‘s House #3 for $3,800,000, and Harry & Tash Pavlou‘s House #1 for $4,000,000. A total price tag of a casual $11,800,02 even.
So ah… who the bloody hell is he? Glad you asked.
Wallis is the founder, CEO, and Managing Director of IT services company DWS Limited, which he founded in 1991. That company, according to various publicly available reports, employees around 800 people across both Australia and NZ and generates somewhere around USD$113 million in annual revenue.
In September, Indian-based IT services multinational HCT Technologies announced its intentions to purchase DWS for an all-cash price of $158.2 million.
Wallis is certainly no stranger to The Block either. He purchased Mitch Edwards and Mark McKie‘s property at The Oslo during last year’s season for $3,374,000. Way back in season five, he bought one of The Block‘s South Melbourne houses for the typically unusual price of $1,400,001.01 exactly.
Interestingly enough, Wallis handed over the keys for that house to Ronald McDonald House Charities, who were given free use of the property until he offloaded it several years later.
And that’s a trend that will apparently continue with this current crop of purchases. Per a press release from Channel Nine (who wholly owns this publication but refuses to let me drift into shot during pivotal Block moments to state “jeez that’s a big job”) Wallis will be donating Daniel & Jade’s house to the My Room Children’s Cancer Charity.
Reportedly inspired by the real-life health struggles the couple’s own child has endured, Wallis stated that the house would be give to the charity in Daniel & Jade’s honour.
“The My Room Children’s Cancer Charity do so many wonderful things for sick children and their families, and they will benefit so much from having access to Daniel and Jade’s amazing home. It is made extra special for me because I know Daniel and Jade have been through so much with their daughter Isla over the years, in and out of hospital, and they will understand just how important the house will be for My Room and all the incredible work they do for sick children and their families,” Wallis stated.
So there you go. If you were wondering just who in the blue hell that insane rich man dropping bids with fractions of dollars was, now you know.
And knowing is half the battle.