Meet the real-life slumdog millionaire, Sushil Kumar. Kumar was the first contestant to win the million dollar prize on India’s version of “Who Wants to be a Millionaire.”
For those of you unfamiliar with the plot of Slumdog Millionaire here is a brief recap:
It’s a unique take on the classic love story. A young man who grew up as a street child in the slums of India. In an effort to reconnect with a lost love, he auditions and lands a spot as a contestant on Who Wants to Be A Millionaire? SPOILER ALERT: Much to everyone’s shock and suspicious surprise, the young boy goes on to win the million dollars.
Here is the trailer:
Sushil Kumar: Real-Life Millionaire
Although Kumar’s story is not as romanticized as the plot of Slumdog Millionaire it is still absurdly close. The 26 year old winner is being hailed as an inspiration to other underprivileged people of India.
Parallels to the plot: Like Jamal Malik, the protagonist of Slumdog Millionaire, Kumar also came from a poor background as the son of a farm laborer. In order to supplement his $120 a month income as a government office worker, he also worked as a tutor in a neighboring town.
Also similar to the movie, Kumar was down to his last life line for the million dollar question. The double-dip option ended up helping him narrow down the options helping him to his victory.
According to the AP release that broke the story, Kumar’s financial situation did not allow for a television set in his household, his only experience with the show was when he would catch it on a neighbors television. After numerous pushes to audition, Kumar made the cut and headed to Mumbai — his first time on a plane, and in a big city.
What would you do with a Million Dollars?
The show is set to air next Tuesday in India and although some details have been released, the final question has not been. Here is what Kumar told the AP he would do with his winnings, 50 million rupees (which actually add up to slightly over a million U.S. dollars).
- Take classes to prepare for India’s civil service exam. If he passes this difficult exam, Sushil Kumar will have higher chances of becoming employed at a prestigious job.
- Purchase a new home for his wife.
- Pay of his parent’s debt.
- Fund startup businesses for his four brothers.
- Build a library for the children in his village.
It sounds like Sushil Kumar is a pretty solid guy who deserved to win this cash. What would you do if you won the grand prize?