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Wednesday, 4 October, 2000, 22:52 GMT 23:52 UK
Indian wins 'Millionaire' jackpot
Harshvardhan Nawathe
Harshvardhan Nawathe is the big winner
By Sanjeev Srivastava in Bombay

A 27-year-old Indian has become the first person to win the jackpot in the hit television gameshow, Who wants to be a Millionaire?

Harshvardhan Nawathe, son of a police officer whose only ambition in life is to become a crime branch officer himself, has won 10 million rupees ($220,000) by correctly answering 15 questions on Kaun Banega Crorepati, as the show is called in Hindi.


It's like a dream. I am thrilled

Harshvardhan Nawathe
Topping viewer ratings in India since it was first aired in July, KBC has created waves in the Indian satellite TV industry.

It has also catapulted Rupert Murdoch's Star Plus channel as the top Indian channel in a matter of weeks.

'Thrilled'

The show is anchored by the Indian movie megastar, Amitabh Bachchan.

The episode featuring Nawathe's jackpot winning feat will be featured on 19 October.

Crorepati poster
The show has topped ratings in India
But the lucky winner was presented before the media in Bombay on Wednesday evening.

Having spent the last five days - since the prize winning episode was recorded - in a hotel suite, Mr Nawathe's first wish was to have a good, long and uninterrupted sleep.

"It's like a dream. I am thrilled. But I went to the show not to win the big prize but to see in flesh my dream hero Amitabh Bachchan," he said.

He accepted the fact that he had become a star of sorts himself.

Sticking to roots

He has been invited as the chief guest at various city functions and soon after winning the prize money he signed hundreds of autographs on the sets of the show.

"I will have to discuss it with my parents," he said, when asked what he planned to do with his winnings.

"I will go in for some safe investments," he said.

But he added that he would like to buy himself "a nice, trendy car".

Mr Nawathe said he planned to continue to live in his modest flat in the middle-class suburb of Ghatkopar.

" I should not forget my roots," he told the BBC.

"Also the money is not so huge so as to change my entire lifestyle. If I try that the money is likely to run out pretty fast," he said.

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See also:

29 Sep 00 | South Asia
Star to stay on Indian Millionaire show
21 Sep 00 | Entertainment
Murdoch's Millionaire fight
31 Aug 00 | Entertainment
Indian cinemas are Millionaire losers
19 Apr 00 | South Asia
Bollywood star lands Millionaire show
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