Fairytale finale for Block

They were the outsiders in the betting stakes and the underdogs throughout the competition but newbie renovators *Steve O'Donnell *and *Chantelle Ford *have blitzed through The Block auctions to be named not only the winners of the current Fans v Faves series but also record-breakers for the highest ever sale price in the Nine show's history.

In what has been dubbed a "fairytale finale", the Melbourne couple's New York-style loft in the old Dux theatre conversion in Victoria's Albert Park sold for a staggering $2.47 million at the auction, which took place on Tuesday and was broadcast last night.

Ford, a milliner, and O'Donnell, a chimney sweep, will not only pocket the $636,000 profit over their reserve price but will also take home an extra $100,000 for their first place win - making them a total of $736,000 richer.

Fiesty twins and winners of last year's Sky High series *Alisa * and *Lysandra Fraser *came second with a $2.375 million sale price and $616,000 profit, with bookmaker favourites *Kyal * and *Kara Demmrich *swinging into third place with a $567,250 profit on a $2.44 million sale price.

Larrikin friends *Brad Cranfield *and *Dale Vine *, who met on series five in 2012, came in fourth place when their apartment was the first to sell for a total of $2.31 million, which was $507,250 over their reserve.

Describing their win as "absolutely mind-blowing", O'Donnell told _AAA _ the other high sale prices could have out them out of the game when their apartment was last to go under the hammer.

"If anything, the worst possible outcome could be that all the buyers have spent their money and we may be out of the race," he explained.

"You get that full swing of emotions. But it only took the second bid for us to be more than $300,000 richer. It was incredible."

Underdogs from the beginning of the competition because of their lack of renovation experience, Ford and O'Donnell were plagued by split rumours throughout the series caused by the stress of being on The Block. But with a hefty stack of cash now in their pockets, the pair revealed they are closer than ever and are making plans for the future, which includes renovating the house Ford has been fighting to pay off from the age of 19 and eventually going on a romantic holiday.

"Steve is a simple man: he wants to go fishing and he wants to buy a bulldog," Ford said.

JESSIE PAPAIN

". . . it only took the second bid for us to be more than $300,000 richer. It was incredible."

The West Australian

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