Key to Tess and Luke’s huge Block win
Superstar tradie Matt Menichelli has once again toasted The Block victory after Queenslanders Tess and Luke blew the competition out of the water to pocket more than $700,000.
But this year, after initially being hesitant to go back on the prime time reno juggernaut for its biggest season yet, he told the Herald Sun he was "blown away" by the end result.
The competition's "dark horse" team, who almost ran out of money and spoke openly about the toll the show took on their lives, took home $730,000 prize money after the finale.
Mr Menichelli was in the auction room with the young Cairns couple and their close friends and family - but they weren't sure of other results until all the auctions were done with.
"Obviously we were second off the bat and we'd heard whispers of what Mitch and Mark's went for, so that sort of set the benchmark and to see ours go up and up and up - there was a stage where it was going backwards and forwards in $10-and-$20,000 increments - to be honest, it took a little while to sink in, he said.
"But to see it go $630,000 over reserve, it blew me away. It blew Tess and Luke and their close family and friends in the room away - we were all scratching our heads and in a little bit of shock but it was a great result; we were stoked."
The Elevate Building Group boss said he wasn't sure whether there was a secret to his Block success, but offered insight into what might have given his team the ultimate edge.
"I thrive off what I do so I treat it as a bit of a passion project; once I commit to it I'm heavily invested and pour my heart and soul into it," he said.
"What hit home for me, we were chatting to the family who bought it post auction, it was a husband, wife and three kids, and they reaffirmed what we wanted to create: a home that suited a family lifestyle and that suited a modern family, and that was why they purchased it.
"It was the first time in a long a family has purchased one of The Block properties, as opposed to an investor or someone like that, and I think that's why we got the figure that we did: the family wanted the property as opposed to an investor just doing the figures and once the figures didn't stack up pulled out. I think that's why some of the others sort of sold for about the same amount and ours sort of charged away."
The Middle Park family moving into the property has three kids in their early 20s, so with the property set up how it was, with a self-contained apartment and spread across three levels, they could have their own space but be under the same roof at the same time.
Mr Menichelli said he was initially hesitant to take the job on this year "solely because of our workload at the time (at his business Elevate)" and he was open to being involved again.
Originally published as Key to Tess and Luke's huge Block win