The multimillion-dollar giveaway of one of the houses from the latest season of The Block didn’t go to plan when the winner hung up on the famous young entrepreneur running the high-profile raffle.
Adrian Portelli, the flashy founder of prize club LMCT+ who’s come to be known as ‘Lambo Guy’, went live on Facebook on Christmas Eve to deliver someone the biggest holiday gift of all.
More than 45,000 hopeful entrants tuned in to watch Portelli phone the lucky winner, but it all ended in a frustratingly awkward anticlimax.
As the live stream begins, he could be seen excitedly dialling the number of a woman named Michelle from Sydney.
“I don’t know technology,” she could be heard saying after picking up, seemingly struggling to hear the call, with a muffled conversation taking place in the background.
After several seconds of trying to speak to her but getting no reply, Portelli ends the call, but when he tries to phone again, Michelle hangs up on him.
“What the hell is going on?” he screamed in frustration. “Phones aren’t new technology.”
A third attempt and fourth attempt went unanswered, so he tried texting her in a bid to prompt her to pick up.
“You can’t make this s*** up,” he sighed.
He tries again, but the calls go straight to voicemail – and a message played advising that the mailbox is full.
“We have people who don’t answer their phones – that’s one thing. I don’t know if Michelle knows how to use a phone, so I think we’re in a bit of a predicament here.”
Portelli drew two runners-up who received $10,000 and $5000 respectively, before ending the live stream.
Now, there’s an update on what happened when he finally tracked down the unsuspecting winner.
The next day on Christmas morning, Portelli filmed himself trying again, when he finally reached a confused and overwhelmed Michelle, telling her he’s “going to change your life”.
Michelle had the choice of taking the house in Hampton East in Melbourne or walking away with $2.5 million tax-free.
“Is this real? We’re a bit in shock.”
She explained the kerfuffle the night before when she assumed it was a random spam phone call and decided not to answer.
“It’s Christmas and we were getting into the drink,” she added.
After a long conversation about whether they want the house or the cash, Michelle decides she’ll take some time to discuss it with her husband Roger.
Portelli later revealed the couple had decided to take the cash.
They passed up the opportunity to receive the keys to house four from The Block, designed and renovated by contestants Steph and Gian, both 27.
Portelli bought the property at auction for a staggering $5 million – a whopping $1.65 million over reserve, delivering the couple $100,000 in prize money, boosting their take-home amount to $1.75 million.
“It’s going to clear our debts in Sydney, it’s going to really set us up for the next stage,” Gian told Channel 9. “There’s big things in the pipeline.”
The eye-watering purchase was “life-changing” for the couple, he added.
“We’re just glad that Adrian Portelli saw the value in the house that we saw as well.”
The couple were early frontrunners in the latest season of the renovation reality show, winning a total of five room reveals throughout.
Their signature style was dubbed ‘Japandi’ – a fusion of Japanese and Scandinavian-inspired interiors that saw them crowned the “king and queen of beige” by the judges.
Portelli first made headlines in 2022 when he roared into The Block auctions in a Lamborghini and paid more than $1.58 million above their reserve for contestants Omar and Oz’s home.
This time around, after buying Gian and Steph’s house, he also forked out $4.3 million for sisters Eliza and Liberty’s house, giving them a massive profit of $1.05 million, as well as snapping up Perth couple Kyle and Leslie’s pad for $3.1 million, sending them home with a profit of $130,000.
At just 34, Portelli is worth a reported $350 million and is known for his eye-watering spending, last year buying a rare supercar for $6.5 million and having it craned into his penthouse apartment in Melbourne.
He’s a university dropout who worked for his dad’s trucking business before moving to Los Angeles and striking it rich in technology start-ups.
He founded his online raffle business LMCT+, where subscribers can enter major draws.