Brad and Lara have won The Block, taking home a staggering $606,000 — and a car! As champagne bottles are uncorked around Australia, we sit down for a chat with Lara to find out just what it's like to be crowned the best of The Block.
Wow — you won! Can you believe it?
No! We're still feeling like, 'Is this really happening? Has this really happened!?'
So total shock and disbelief then?
Exactly! That's exactly what it is.
A little birdie told us that you were sick right after the auction — was that true?
Yeah, that happened! But it wasn't a proper vomit — I was feeling a bit overwhelmed I guess, and was coughing and coughing and coughing, and, well...!
Please tell us it didn't happen while you were sitting in the lounge room?!
No, in the toilet! [laughs]
At what point did it dawn on you that you had not only won, but absolutely raked in the money?
Honestly, it went that quick, that it wasn't until we went back into the room and saw everybody, and they went nuts — that's probably when it hit that we had won a bit of money. It was so crazy — I don't even think it has hit us yet.
How were you feeling during the auction. Was your heart racing?
It was all quite weird — it just didn't feel real. We couldn't believe it was actually happening. I really don't know how to explain it. We can't even comprehend how much $600,000 is, tax free. It's still sinking in!
Well, to put it like this: you could have had enough of a deposit to bid on some of the cheaper houses!
I know — can you imagine! We could have teamed up with Dani and Dan, who came second, and pooled our money together and bought one of the houses!
What was the actual amount you ended up winning?
So, we were $506,000 over reserve. Then you get the extra $100,000 because we won. And the car — I am starting to feel a little bit greedy!
How much will a win like this change your lives?
Oh, ridiculously. We can buy the land we want, and we don't have to compromise on how many acres we want now, and the position, or the area. We might not even have a mortgage for the rest of our lives!
The plan if you won was to relocate your old house to a new block of land, right? Does this mean it will happen faster?
If we didn't win enough money, we would have had to compromise and get a different block, a different size. We wanted about 50 acres, so we would have had to downsize or go out further. Now we can do what we want and it can happen quicker. It's so exciting — because this will be the house that we live in forever...
Does this mean you'll both become farmers?!
Well, not full time. [laughs] It will be a little hobby farm and we will get some cows and chooks and stuff...
What a wonderful place to start your new lives... we're surprised Brad didn't take the opportunity to pop the question!
Yeah! [laughs] But, look, there is too much going on at the moment, he won't be popping the question yet I don't think.
So tell us — how did you celebrate last night after the auction?
We had a few drinks at the Olsen Hotel in South Yarra. We were all staying there...
Were you hidden away in a room?
We were in the Penthouse... it was fun.
You guys got close to Sophie and Dale — how pleased were you that they managed to walk away with so much cash, despite technically coming last?
We are absolutely over the moon for them. Even though they came fourth in the money stakes, it is still I think $150,000 more than the Block record. So for people to come fourth and get $350,000, that is just ridiculous. We are so happy for them.
It's been such a wild ride for you all — especially with your run-ins with Dani and Dan. Do you feel like you're all now leaving as friends despite everything?
Oh, yep, definitely — we are going to walk away from this whole thing with six new friends. So it's all good.
What's next — back to your jobs?
We will go back to work and then we will go on a bit of a 'do nothing' holiday for a week. But, yes, back to work!
Not tempted to quit your jobs?
Oh, God no! [laughs] We have got to do all this house stuff, and there's still all that. And that's my life — I love teaching, so I am not going to give it up.
What a lovely end to the series — not only did you win, but everyone walked away with so much cash...
You know what? It would have been absolutely devastating if one of us hadn't sold, or if one of us hadn't won as much money as we had. It's just so brilliant that every single couple on The Block got the amount of money that they did, because this is going to set every single one of us up for life. We're over the moon.
Brad and Lara won big, also taking home Best and Fairest on The Block, as voted by you, driving away in Scotty's Suzuki Kizashi Sport.
We were overwhelmed by the community support during the Father Bob Charity Challenge, and the real-estate community saw the auction as a way to give back themselves, with Sophie and Dale's agents, Kay & Burton, donating their proceeds from the house's sale to the Murdoch Childrens Research Institute (MCRI), and Karl from Buxton (Brad & Lara's agent) donating his commission to the National Breast Cancer Foundation.
Congratulations again to Brad, Lara, and to all the couples on this year's Block. Blockheads around the nation have fallen in love with your houses. 7 o'Block won't be the same without you.