The Block NZ's Tim Cotton had a lot to celebrate on his birthday this year.
The Aucklander turned 27 the day after the Three show's final auction, where he and teammate Arthur "Arty" Gillies won this season's grand prize of $100,000, as well as a whopping $660,000 from the sale of the home they renovated together.
With all four teams each taking away more than $400k in winnings, victory was even sweeter for the boys of Team Blue. Grinning, Tim tells Woman's Day, "Getting to share the win with all the other teams – you can't get a better birthday present than that. We're rapt!"
Nodding, Arty, 27, adds, "During the auction, we were shellshocked. Both of us were welling up. Watching the price going up in hundreds of thousands, I thought, 'This is actually life-changing!'"
For the lifelong best friends, their win is a welcome payoff for the sacrifices they made to be on the show, which was filmed over two years due to COVID-19 shutdowns. Events manager Arty even quit his job to be able to participate.
"When I handed my notice in, I burst into tears in front of my manager," recalls Arty. "I knew it was a bad time for me to leave, but she was so nice about it."
"It was a risk," adds film and TV freelancer Tim. "Looking back, though, it was the best decision we could have made."
The future looks bright for the Grey Lynn flatmates, who plan to buy and renovate another house together, before going travelling with Tim's partner of two years, Molly. "She was so supportive through all this," shares Tim. "She's stoked for us!"
And while The Block host Mark Richardson had fun teasing him about buying a diamond with his winnings, Tim's keeping engagement talk on ice. "The plan is to move in with Molly soon," he says. "There may be a diamond ring, but maybe in a few more years!"
As for Arty, the eligible bachelor is still looking for love. "With The Block and lockdown, I've been living like a hermit, so there's no one on the scene at the moment," he insists.
"But he's been getting a lot of DMs," adds Tim. "I'm going to contract myself out as Arty's bouncer."
"If you want to get in touch, you'll have to go through Tim!" laughs Arty.
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