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Real-Life 'Slumdog Millionaire': Poor Clerk Wins $1M On Indian Game Show

In a case of life imitating the movies, a young man in India who earns about $120 a month as a government office worker has won $1 million on his country's version of Who Wants To Be A Millionaire.

Sushil Kumar, the first person to win $1 million on an Indian show, is now something of a real-life Slumdog Millionaire, the rags-to-riches tale from 2008 that won an Oscar for Best Picture.

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

We don't yet know what the final, million-dollar question and correct answer were. The show was taped Tuesday and won't be broadcast until next Wednesday. According to the AP, all the show's producers would say is that the question dealt with history.

India Today reports that Kumar "was moved to tears" when movie star and show host Amitabh Bachchan handed him the winner's check. It adds that "even Big B [Bachchan] was extremely excited about Sushil's winning. 'You have created history. Your grit and determination has made you come so far in this show,' Bachchan said."

The young winner — the AP says Kumar is 26, the Times of India says he's 27 and India Today says he's 28 — plans to use his $1 million to buy back his "dilapidated ancestral house," purchase a plot of land to build another home for his parents and brothers and to pay for classes that would prepare him for India's civil services exam, the Times says.

Copyright 2011 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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