Will and Karlie become first Queenslanders to win The Block

The Block winners Will Bethune and Karlie Cicero celebrate their auction result.
The Block winners Will Bethune and Karlie Cicero celebrate their auction result. Channel 9

WILL Bethune and Karlie Cicero can't wait to celebrate their Block victory at home in Queensland.

The high school sweethearts are the first ever contestants from the Sunshine State to win the renovation show, breaking a more than decade-long reality TV drought.

"We are so excited to bring the win back to Queensland," Mr Bethune told APN.

"Thank you to everyone who watched at home for all your support and love.

"We've won the State of Origin, the netball and now The Block."

Will Bethune and Karlie Cicero celebrate their Block win.
Will Bethune and Karlie Cicero celebrate their Block win.

In tonight's dramatic grand final, the 25-year-olds won a total of $815,000 from the auction of their luxury three-bedroom apartment and the show's $100,000 grand prize.

The young Brisbane couple was praised throughout the series for combining their modern style with the art deco heritage of the Port Melbourne building, which has been transformed into six multi-million dollar apartments.

"Nobody wanted the ground floor apartment, but we were stoked to get it," Ms Cicero said.

"To get the win on the apartment nobody wanted shows we worked hard and realised its full potential. We're very proud and the fact that everyone did so well makes our win even sweeter."

While the 2016 season wasn't the most profitable in the show's history, fears about the impact of the American Presidential Election weren't realised.

All five of this year's teams walked away with more than half a million dollars each.

The Block teams celebrate their auction results on the building's rooftop garden.
The Block teams celebrate their auction results on the building's rooftop garden.

It was a fairy tale finish, with tonight's total profits of $2.935 million bringing The Block's total prize money to a world-record $17,575,501 across 12 seasons.

It's been a nervous past few months for the Queensland love birds, though, who have been struggling to pay their bills as they waited for auction day to arrive.

"We have had a few financial struggles in the past few months, which has been quite taxing for us," Ms Cicero said.

"To win so much money is a massive weight off our shoulders."

Their first order of business is to thank all of the tradesmen and builders who worked behind the scenes on their fast-paced renovation.

"We'd love to get all the trades and everyone involved together and have a big party to say thank you," Mr Bethune said.

"They don't get much recognition. It's a challenge for us but it's a challenge for them too."

The couple plans to renovate their home in Rochdale, which they purchased just before relocating to Melbourne for the show. There's also a dream wedding in the works followed by a honeymoon in Europe.

"There's not going to be a sausage sizzle (at our reception) anymore," Mr Bethune laughed.

"Karlie and I never wanted a massive, extravagant wedding so it's still going to be a laid-back ceremony. This takes the pressure off. It means we're going to have the wedding of our dreams now and more family and friends will be there with us."

Channel 9 recently renewed the renovation show for a 13th season. Still riding the wave of their win, Ms Cicero said The Block isn't for the feint-hearted.

"It was the hardest thing we've ever done, but it also gave us so many opportunities," she said.

"For me the hardest part of the entire experience was the lack of sleep every single week. There's no time off, but all the stress seems like a very distant memory now.

"If you think you're up to it then just give it a go."


The Block 2016 auction results

Will and Karlie (Qld): sold for $2.6 million, $715,000 profit

Julia and Sasha (VIC): sold for $2.59 million, $660,000 profit

Dan and Carleen (WA): sold for $2.49 million, $525,000 profit

Kim and Chris (NSW): sold for $2.305 million, $425,000 profit

Ben and Andy (VIC): sold for $2.25 million, $510,000 profit

Topics:  channel 9 editors picks scott cam television the block 2016 will and karlie

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