Friday, October 28, 2011

Indian's Real-life Slumdog Millionaire wins $1million prize

27 year old Sushil Kumar, a poor government clerk from a remote and poverty-stricken region of northern India became the first person to win 50 million rupees, worth more than $1m, on Indian version of 'Who wants to be a Millionaire'.

Kumar's win echoes the plot of the 2008 Oscar-winning film Slumdog Millionaire, whose impoverished protagonist won the grand prize on the show.

Kumar and his wife of five months wept when Indian movie legend Amitabh Bachchan, the show's host, handed them a cheque for 50 million rupees (just over $US1 million) after the contestant gave all the right answers on the show.

 Before Kumar went on the program, which was taped Tuesday and will air next week, he earned $120 a month as a government office worker and supplemented his income by working as a private tutor in the small town of Motihari in the eastern state of Bihar.

Kumar told viewers his family was so poor they couldn't afford a television set, forcing him to go to a neighbour's home to watch the quiz show. Watching him tick off correct answer after correct answer, his neighbours persuaded him to try out for the show, he said.

The trip to the Mumbai studio where the show is taped was his first ride in a plane and his first visit to a big city, he said.

Kumar had clear, if modest, plans for the money.

He said he will use some to pay for a preparatory course so he can take India's tough civil service exam, which could lead to a secure and prestigious lifetime job.

He said he will also buy a new home for his wife, pay off his parents' debts and give his brothers startup cash so they can set up small businesses.
And he plans to build a library in Motihari so the children of his village will have access to the books and knowledge he so desperately craved, he said.

Source: Herald Sun

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