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Tuesday, November 8, 2011

"Slumdog Millionaire" plans huge library

"We're happy of course but mostly we're just really stunned."

--Sushil Kumar, a poorly paid government clerk who won 50 million rupees (about $800,000 US) on the Indian version of Who Wants to be a Millionaire? echoing the plot of the 2008 Oscar-winning movie.

I've been carrying this newsclipping around for so many days I have forgotten where it came from, but I have thought of it often because I found it quite inspiring, really.

Sushil Kumar, 26, used to watch Who Wants to be a Millionaire? at a neighbor's house, because he could not afford a television.  Those neighbors were so impressed by his knack at answering the questions that they persuaded him to have a go.  And lo, he made an epic journey to Mumbai -- his first ever trip in a plane.

Until his win, Kumar was earning 6500 rupees a month as a government computer worker in the northeastern state of Bihar, one of the country's most disadvantaged regions.  Now, he is an Indian millionaire.

He plans to use the money to pay debts, buy a house for his extended family (he is only recently married), and build a library.

"I love reading," he said. "Before winning this amount, I couldn't buy many books, but now I will make a huge library."

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