Two events in quick succession have dramatically changed Vasanth Kumar’s life.

With a mix of luck and perseverance, M. Vasanth Kumar has achieved enviable financial stability.

Vasanth was an Armed Reserve constable with the City police when he sat down to take a volley of questions from actor Prakash Raj in the popular television game show Neengalum Vellalam Oru Kodi on Vijay TV, a few weeks ago. He ended up winning Rs. 50 lakh in the event. Following this windfall, he cleared the Group 2 examination of Tamil Nadu Public Service Commission. He gave up donning the policeman’s khakis and took up a posting as trade manager at a cooperative society in Jahiramma Palayam, Salem district. (According to a senior police officer, Vasanth participated in the contest without being granted permission by the department, thereby violating a rule.)

It may sound clichéd, but Vasanth’s is a rags-to-riches story.

Kumar comes from a humble background: his father works as a mason back in his village in Sithanur.

Recalling the exciting events that led up to his present sitaution, Vasanth says he sent a successful text message and was invited to the show, which is a Tamil version of Kaun Banega Crorepathi hosted by Amitabh Bachchan.

“I participated in the contest and won Rs. 50 lakh after opting not to take the Rs. 1 crore question.

If I had got wrong, I would have received only Rs. 3.20 lakh,” says Mr. Vasanth. For the curious, the Rs. One crore question that Mr. Vasanth skipped is: who composed the Doordarshan’s signature tune?

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