'Real Slumdog Millionaire' is first to win $1m on Indian gameshow
A poor government clerk from a remote and poverty-stricken region of northern India was partying with film stars on Thursday night after becoming the first person to win 50 million rupees, worth over $1m or £634,000, on an Indian gameshow.
In an astonishing real life version of the plot of the 2008 Oscar-winning film Slumdog Millionaire, whose impoverished hero from a tough neighbourhood of the Indian commercial capital Mumbai wins the biggest prize on a TV quiz show, 27-year-old Sushil Kumar answered a final question correctly to take the jackpot of the massively popular local edition of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?
"We can't believe it. The whole village have come to our house. We are worried that my dad will die of happiness," Sunil Kumar Patel, the winner's brother, told the Guardian. "We can't speak to Sushil. His mobile is off because he is out with the stars and on and off planes."
Kumar, who has a master's degree in psychology from a local college, wept when the Indian movie legend Amitabh Bachchan, the show's host, handed him a cheque for 50 million rupees after the contestant gave all the right answers in the show's final round.
According to the Associated Press news agency, Kumar said he would spend some of his prize money on a preparatory course for India's tough civil service exam, which could lead to a secure and prestigious lifetime job.
Kumar said he would also buy a new home for his wife, pay off his parents' debts, give his brothers cash to set up small businesses and build a library in Motihari so the children of his village would have access to "books and knowledge".