Sanoj Raj from Bihar’s Jehanabad district is the first contestant of season 11 of game show ‘Kaun Banega Crorepati’ to win Rs1 crore (Rs10 million, Dh516,970).
Even though he failed to get the right answer for the jackpot question worth Rs70 million, Raj is happy about winning the amount.
“My father is a farmer. It is not about giving money to him. It is his money,” Raj said.
“He couldn’t finish his studies due to our family’s condition. We concentrated on our studies so that we don’t have to face that situation,” added Raj, whose mother is a homemaker and who stays in a joint family along with his grandparents, uncle, aunt, brothers and a sister.
Raj was accompanied to the show by his father and uncle. After winning he called up his mother, who said his struggles had borne fruit. The question that made Raj a millionaire was: “The father of which chief justice of India was once chief minister of an Indian state?”
However, Raj stumbled at the jackpot question: “Who was the Indian bowler off whom Australian legend Don Bradman got a single to reach his 100th first class century?”
“I found it very hard. The game’s rules bar me from using a lifeline, so I used my final lifeline for the Rs1-crore [Rs10 million] question,” he added.
His journey as a contestant on ‘Kaun Banega Crorepati’ was a good one, he said.
“There were 10 of us as contestants, who were put up in a hotel. We became friends. One thing I found irritating was the clothes. I have always given importance to comfort while dressing up but on the show, fitting and colours were more important. So much effort went into choosing our clothes,” said Raj.
The Indian Administrative Service aspirant didn’t study extra for the show.
“I was studying for civil services, so I didn’t do any extra preparation,” he said.
The show also gave him the opportunity to sit face to face with actor Amitabh Bachchan, who has hosted ‘Kaun Banega Crorepati’ for many years.
“I had only seen him on the big screen. When I met him, he spoke to me as if he has known me for a long time,” said the self-confessed fan of the actor.
However, Raj does not want to be on cloud nine, for as he has bigger dreams and higher aims to achieve.
“I am focusing on my civil services exams right now,” said the 25-year-old, who earlier worked at Tata Consultancy Services in Delhi.
What would he like to as an IAS officer? “I would like to do something I have an interest in, which is interacting with people and solving their problems. These are more important than money”.