Who Wants to Be A Millionaire
An Indian man has won the jackpot on "Who Wants To Be A Millionaire," recalling the Oscar-winning film "Slumdog Millionaire." Photo Credit: Nickstone333/Flickr.com/CC-BY

The Academy Award-winning film “Slumdog Millionaire” told the story of a young Indian man who grows up incredibly poor and wins huge on a game show. Sushil Kumar, a 27-year-old, has become an overnight sensation for having reality live up to fiction.

Man wins prize on game show that inspired hit film

Many have heard the old saw about “art imitating life,” but sometimes it also works the other way. A young Indian man has just gained worldwide notoriety for practically making the plot of the 2008 Danny Boyle film “Slumdog Millionaire” come to life. The film tells the story of a young man whose desperately poor upbringing helps him to win the big prize on the version of “Who Wants to Be A Millionaire?” broadcast in India.

The show, which in Hindi is called “Kaun Banega Crorepati,” had a recent contestant who mirrored the film when he won the jackpot, according to The Telegraph. Sushil Kumar, a 27-year-old clerk and part-time tutor, answered all questions correctly and was handed a check for 50 million rupees, according to ABC, roughly equivalent to $1 million. His income before the jackpot was about $120 per month.

Sound and simple plans

According to ABC, neighbors convinced Kumar to try to get on the show after they saw that he knew the answers to most of the questions when watching it with him earlier this year. In July, he took the audition exam and was notified on Oct. 16 that he would be appearing on an episode, which aired on Saturday, Oct. 22. He flew to Mumbai, where “Kaun Banega Crorepati” is taped, on his first-ever plane flight. It was also his first visit to a large city.

Kumar doesn’t have extravagant plans for his winnings, except to pay off debts and buy a larger house for his family. He also intends to use the money to support himself while he studies for the civil service exam. Civil service jobs in India are among the best paying and most stable jobs available in the country, according to The Telegraph.

Art usually deviates

In Kumar’s case, a pleasant fiction was mirrored by a real-life event. However, when a pleasant fiction is based on real events, it is usually off the mark.

For instance, in the film “Rudy,” players on 1975 the Notre Dame football team protest their coach’s decision to not allow the title character to appear in uniform for his last-ever game. However, according to USA Today, the Notre Dame quarterback from that  team, one Joe Montana, asserts that never happened. He did credit the real-life “Rudy” with being a hard worker and getting the sack depicted in the film.

According to ESPN, a struggling journeyman boxer named Chuck Wepner stunned the world when he floored then-heavyweight champion Muhammad Ali in March of 1975. Ali knocked him out in the end. In 1976, the film “Rocky” told a similar story, without crediting Wepner. Wepner sued Sylvester Stallone in 2003 for giving credit where it was due. Stallone settled for an undisclosed amount.


The Telegraph: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/india/8852988/Real-life-Slumdog-Millionaire-wins-Indian-game-show.html

ABC: http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/headlines/2011/10/real-life-slumdog-millionaire-first-to-win-big/
USA Today: http://content.usatoday.com/communities/gameon/post/2010/09/joe-montana-notre-dame-rudy/1

ESPN: http://espn.go.com/boxing/story/_/page/IamChuckWepner/chuck-wepner-recognized-rocky-fame


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