Lowly clerk becomes real-life Slumdog Millionaire

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The Independent Online

Life imitated art for a lowly Indian government clerk as he became the first jackpot winner on his country's version of Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?

Sushil Kumar's staggering 50 million rupee (£634,000) triumph on the game show has transformed him into a role model for millions of young people yearning to escape poverty and find a role in India's burgeoning economy.

It echoes the plot of the 2008 Oscar-winning film Slumdog Millionaire, whose impoverished protagonist landed the programme's grand prize.

Before Mr Kumar, 26, went on the show – to be screened next week – he earned £75 a month as an office worker and supplemented his income by working as a private tutor in the small town of Motihari in the eastern state of Bihar. He now plans to buy a new home, pay off his parents' debts, and give his four brothers enough money to start their own businesses.

He and his wife of four months Seema wept when Indian movie legend Amitabh Bachchan, the show's host, handed them their prize. "You have created history," Bachchan said. Mr Kumar said: "We're just really stunned." AP