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The Block winners and Scott Cam respond to 'rigged' auction claims

The Block winners Omar and Oz have broken their silence following claims that they ‘rigged’ their auction during Sunday night’s record-breaking finale.

The reality TV stars earned the largest sum any Blockheads have ever made over a reserve price in the show’s 18 seasons, taking home a whopping $1,686,666.66 in prize money after their four-bedroom, 10-acre property sold for $5,666,666.66.

The Block winners Omar and Oz.
Omar and Oz won The Block 2022 after selling their property for $5,666,666.66 Photo: Channel Nine

The auction saw a tense bidding war between Adrian Portelli, a businessman and friend of Omar and Oz, and eventual buyer Danny Wallis, an entrepreneur who has purchased multiple Block properties in the past.

Social media users were quick to share baseless conspiracy theories online accusing the Western Sydney mates of rigging the auction by using their friend Adrian to drive up the price.

However, Omar and Oz spoke with Fitzy & Wippa about the rumours on Monday and said that they “couldn’t be further from the truth”.

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“We reached out to everyone that Oz and I knew, we asked so many people to come through and see the house,” Omar explained. “We actually reached out to a mutual friend and they kind of suggested that he might be interested and he wanted to come have a look at the house. And when he did come, he absolutely loved it.”

The pair went on to say that they are “very grateful” for the way things turned out and it was an “awesome feeling” having so many people bid on their rural home.

“At the end of the day, [Adrian] bid $4.5 million,” Omar said. "We had no idea Danny Wallace was going to bid for our house. If Danny doesn't show up, [Adrian] buys the house for $4.5 million and me and Oz walk away with $420,000.

“We had another buyer Frank, he was willing to push it up to $4.8 million. But obviously, when Danny came in, everyone gets out of the race after that.”

The Block winners Omar and Oz with buyer Danny Wallis.
Melbourne entrepreneur Danny Wallis ended up buying Omar and Oz’s property. Photo: Channel Nine

Scott Cam weighs in

Host Scott Cam also addressed the ‘dummy bidder’ rumours while chatting with Fitzy & Wippa on Monday morning and said he wasn’t aware of any foul play.

“[Adrian] was keen on the house, and then it went too high and he pulled out,” he said.

“Having said that, I had someone suggest that to me and I don't know that at all about the dummy bidding. But if the boys organised a dummy bidder to push that up to $5 million, well, that's a strategy, isn’t it? And it's an auction.

“And of course, if Danny had stopped then he would’ve had to buy the house. So that’s not a dummy bidder, that’s a bidder.

The Block winners Omar and Oz with Scott Cam.
‘If the boys organised a dummy bidder to push that up to $5 million, well, that's a strategy isn’t it?’ Photo: Channel Nine

Adrian responds

Adrian, who has a reported net worth of $8 million, eventually took to his Instagram to hit back at the rumours that he helped rig the auction.

“For everyone questioning the legitimacy of the auction, I was a genuine buyer with every intention to purchase that property,” he wrote.

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“Nobody is to blame for what happened. It's an auction. Believe it or not but if you've got two people that genuinely want the property, a bidding war will commence.”

The online promotions guru, also known as ‘Mr Lambo’ after his flashy arrival at the auction, ended his post saying he’s happy to show his bank account to anyone who suggests his bids weren’t real.

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