Danny Wallis, the perennial Block bidder, pumps energy into 2020 Brighton auctions

Danny Wallis, the perennial Block bidder, pumps energy into 2020 Brighton auctions
Jonathan ChancellorFebruary 18, 2021

Scott Cam reckoned the auctions would be nail biting, but it mostly about how deep were the pockets of Danny Wallis, the energetic bidderman who spent just under $12 million on three purchases at The Block Brighton 2020.

He blitzed the auctions which saw Jimmy and Tam win the day, and take home a total of $1,066,000, making them the first millionaires in the 16 series.

It was a virtual wipeout for the regular buyers agents, and a huge win for the contestants who took home $3,332,002 for their tortured labour.

Wallis bought Sarah and George’s house, Daniel and Jade’s and Harry and Tash, bidding on all five.

Wallis was the 1992 founder and chief executive of the sharemarket-listed IT company DWS Group, which was sold in September to HCL Technologies for $162 million.

Wallis bought Mitch and Mark’s property last season for $3.374 million.

The bidding at the first auction for WA couple Luke and Jasmin opened at $3.21 million.

Buyers' agent Frank Valentic made the first bid on the 1910 house.

It ended at $3,856,000, some $506,000 over the $3.35 million reserve for the house known as Summer Hill.

The contestant couple had hoped to pay off their $440,000 mortgage back home.

It sold to an owner occupier bidding by Zoom, outbidding Nicole Jacob's the buyers' agent client, and Danny Wallis, The Block perennial bidder.

The name on the Zoom screen suggested the bidder after 70 plus bids was periodontist Sarah Orme.

The second home that went up for auction was the renovation of Jimmy and Tam.

They had the lowest $3.29 million reserve that went to auction, but the first rush of bids saw it exceeded.

McGrath auctioneer Scott Kennedy-Green heard $3.2 million, but the same time offer from Danny Wallis was $4.2 million.

The bidding soared to $4,256,000, some $966,000 over reserve to an owner occupier who outbid Wallis.

She was cybersecurity consultant Emese Falk, who moved to Australia from New York a year ago, and inspected the house for the first time the day prior to the auction.

Their 1950s house was packed with $120,000 of Gaggenau in its kitchen with Jimmy and Tam having a slightly smaller corner house, hence the lowest reserve.

The NSW couple Sarah and George had the third auction with their 1940s renovation. Bidding opened at $3,310,000, just below its $3,350,000 reserve.

Danny offered $4,000,001 in the second bid of the auction, then after all other bidders handed in their bidding paddles, increased his offer to $4,000,002.

They made $650,000 in prize money.

The fourth auction was SA couple Daniel and Jade's 1930s art deco home.

The bidding opened at $3.3 million. At $3.5 million there was a $300,000 bid from Danny Wallis.

It was knocked down at $3.8 million to Danny Wallis.

The SA couple got $460,000 more than its $3.34 million reserve. 

All estate agents on the five homes quoted $3.2 million to $3.5 million to prospective buyers.

The most viewed house was the renovation of Harry and Tash on the Domain website which was the last home to go to auction.

The bidding on the 1920s home began at $3.3 million and just a few bids later was at $4 million in a bid by Danny Wallis.

The father daughter duo had a $3.35 million reserve.

The finale peaked at 2.435 million views, Nine have advised.

It was 2012 when they first saw the rather bizarre auction bidding by entrepreneur Danny Wallis which triggered an extraordinary Twitter backlash after the finale went to air.

Comedian Dave Hughes tweeted in 2012: "Shouldn't have to look hard to find this week's Tool of the Week? ENERGY WATCH #theblock".

Hughes looked at the 2020 homes.

Wallis was then accompanied by his Energy Watch T-shirt-wearing brigade having recently bought the company from the administrators, in an ambush marketing stunt.

Old-timers recalled the ambush marketing euphoria that fuelled the auction crescendo of the first Bondi series in 2003, with over-the-top bidding by mobile phone retailer Crazy John’s among those seeking to piggy-back the successful debut of the television series.

Crazy John's Roscoe Street bidding was done by a 2.1-metre-tall Crazy John’s mascot that lent an air of a circus to pavement proceedings.

Wallis bought one Dorcas Street terrace when buying Mike and Andrew's house in the last auction for $1,400,001.01.

He resold the four-bedroom property in 2016 for $1.73 million.

It’s actually not a new practice for Wallis to bid in odd auction figures.

In 2001 at Albert Park he secured his investment for $444,300.

And his own Albert Park house cost $626,400 in 1999.

Wallis, who bought the property for his private investment, has indicated to the pedestrian.tv he is planning to set up the house to be available to parents of sick children staying in Melbourne's Royal Children's Hospital.



Jonathan Chancellor

Jonathan Chancellor is one of Australia's most respected property journalists, having been at the top of the game since the early 1980s. Jonathan co-founded the property industry website Property Observer and has written for national and international publications.

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