The Block NZ winners elated

KIMBERLEY CRAYTON-BROWN
Last updated 05:00 08/09/2012
Siblings Ben and Libby Crawford
PETER MEECHAM/Fairfax NZ
WINNING SMILES: Siblings Ben and Libby Crawford have won The Block NZ, taking home $237,000.

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It took a while for Libby and Ben Crawford to realise they were "in the green" as their renovated The Block NZ house went under the hammer on Thursday night.

The live auctions marked the end of the 10-week series where four couples did up a run-down house in Takapuna's Anzac Ave, with the couple whose house fetched the highest profit above reserve taking home the profit and a cash prize of $80,000.

The siblings, who grew up on an Edendale farm, walked away with $237,000 after their house, with a reserve of $804,000, sold for $961,000. Their $157,000 profit was the highest by a long shot, securing the cash prize.

Yesterday, Libby said it had still not sunk in.

"It just went so fast, we didn't really have a chance to think about it. It flew past the reserve pretty quickly and it took quite a while to realise we were in the green, and going to make money," she said.

It wasn't until they were about $100,000 above reserve that they cottoned on, Ben said.

"You hope when the bidding opens it goes crazy," Libby said.

But their biggest fear had been that there would be tumbleweeds blowing through the room and an awkward cough.

It had been "gut wrenching" watching the following three auctions, Libby said. "At that point we had won a substantial amount of money and we said if we don't win we don't care, we want everyone to do really well.

"We were all cheering, we were all living it with the other guys."

The best result would have been for everyone to leave with a bit of cash as they all put blood, sweat and tears into the houses, she said.

While Hamilton couple Sarah and Richard made a profit of $64,000, and Taranaki couple Rhys and Ginny $11,000, Wellington's Rachel and Tyson left empty-handed after their house sold for its $789,000 reserve.

Scores of online commenters said the outcome was unfair, with many saying the Crawfords should donate some of their winnings to the others.

Ben said it was a hard thing and they were all good mates.

"Rachel and Tyson put as much work in as anyone.

"We all went into it knowing you wouldn't make anything if it didn't go over reserve," Ben said.

It was "pretty tricky" Libby said, and they would need to take a breath and think about things and see what happened.

The Southland pair had spoken to the couple who had purchased their house, both accountants, who planned to live there and turn it into office space, Ben said.

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The pair have started a creative ideas agency and will work from home to begin with, Ben in Auckland and Libby in Christchurch.

They had been overwhelmed by the support they had received and wanted to thank everyone.

- The Southland Times

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