The Block’s controversial $12m mega-buyer
One man dominated auction day on The Block this year, offering "insane" bids on every single house and buying three in the process.
Danny Wallis's bids made for several jaw-dropping moments during the auctions, as he drove up the prices by up to a million dollars in a single bid. His antics led host Scott Cam to declare it "the most unbelievable day in Block history."
So who is Wallis, the mysterious, deep-pocketed man who splashed out almost $12 million in one day on The Block?
A BIZARRE BLOCK HISTORY
The super-rich IT entrepreneur will be a familiar face to Block fans - he bought Mitch and Mark's property last season for a tidy $3.374 million, having bid on all five properties.
This year, he bought Sarah and George's house for $4 million-and-two-thousand, to be exact (unusual bids are something of a trademark for Wallis), Daniel and Jade's for $3.8 million and Harry and Tash's for $4 million.
While he lost out on the other two houses for sale this year, he put in a good fight - in one jaw-dropping moment he raised the bidding on Jimmy and Tam's house by almost $1m in a single bid.
Block viewers with longer memories might remember Wallis' flamboyant antics during the 2012 South Melbourne season of the show, where he purchased one of the properties for $1.4 million while flanked by women in t-shirts emblazoned with his company's logo.
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It was that stunt and his penchant for bizarre, confusing bids that saw him labelled a "a bit of a nuisance" by Block buyer's advocate Frank Valentic at last year's auctions.
But Wallis had some choice words of his own: He insisted he never even watched The Block and complained that the auction had been "slow" and "stupid."
"I've never been at an auction where people get five minutes think time," he said.
"Danny is a local businessman here in Melbourne … We've seen him at a Block auction before, and he has a tactic of confusing everyone in the crowd," Block presenter Shelley Craft explained during last year's finale, after Wallis offered a bid that left the auctioneer flummoxed: $3,308,050. The auctioneer quipped that it was "$3,308,000 and half a litre of petrol."
But he's not all flashy stunts: He reportedly let Ronald McDonald charities use his 2012 Block house for free for several years after he purchased it.
SO WHAT DOES HE DO?
Starting his career at ANZ, Wallis then founded I.T. service management company DWS in 1991, which has since grown to encompass offices around Australia and New Zealand. Wallis is the CEO and Managing Director.
And this may explain why Wallis was so eager to flash the cash on The Block this year: In September DWS was bought by Indian tech giant HCL Technologies for $126 million in cash.
WHAT HE'LL DO WITH THE HOUSES
His showboating might annoy those he's bidding against, but there's a heart under those antics. Wallis has grand plans for one of the houses he purchased. Knowing South Australian farmer couple Daniel and Jade have a child with severe health problems, Wallis purchased their home to donate to My Room Children's Cancer Charity.
"What an amazing day it was and a real thrill to buy the three houses. I was so impressed with the builds this year, the location in Brighton, and the potential as an investor for the properties in the future," Wallis said in a statement released by Nine.
"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."
Originally published as The Block's controversial $12m mega-buyer