On Wednesday, Kaun Banega Crorepati 11 found its third crorepati in Bihar’s Gautam Kumar Jha. The contestant went home with Rs 1 crore after quitting the game for not knowing the answer to the jackpot question of Rs 7 crore. Host Amitabh Bachchan was pleasantly impressed by Gautam’s composure and knowledge, which according to him, he gathered over the years, while prepping for his IAS entrance exams.
Post his win, Gautam Jha, in an exclusive chat with indianexpress.com shared his excitement of winning the big amount on KBC 11. “I really feel great. It was my wife’s childhood dream to be on KBC. While she couldn’t go, she sent me as a representative. I am happy that I could fulfill her dreams,” he said with a smile.
His wife Shweta Jha, beaming at her husband’s success added, “I would watch KBC and ask him the same questions. Even when the contestants wouldn’t know, he always had the correct answer. This is why I forced him to register this year. He felt it was all a game of luck, but I told him to trust his knowledge. I had the confidence that he will definitely do well.”
Gautam, on his part, was also confident, and he even planned a strategy to aide him in the game. He said, “The format is such that there is a mix of easy and tough questions. The crore question was such a specific one from the American history that someone who hasn’t studied it would have never known. Not just me, but my relatives and friends felt that I had the merit to win a crore. I had decided that I will use my lifelines whenever I was confused, even if I win a less amount. Guess that strategy worked for me.”
The senior engineer in the railways further opened up about his journey on KBC, “It was quite unpredictable. We all know that crores of people register and only 130 manage to get selected for the final round. Also, every stage of selection is very difficult. While watching it on television, we don’t realise that. It was quite a tedious process and then once you are on the stage, there is so much pressure to perform. And above all, you have the megastar Amitabh Bachchan sitting in front of you. All these make even easy questions seem difficult.”
Ask him about interacting with host Big B and Gautam smiled to say, “He is such a gentleman, so humble and down to earth. He is also a very knowledgable and well-read man. Just hearing my name, he knew where I come from. He also shared his life’s experience with me. I think once you meet Amitabh Bachchan, you can easily demystify success.”
Giving details about his big moment, the Madhubani district resident shared, “It was a very important and special moment for me. I came empty-handed and returned with such a big amount. The journey is something that I would cherish forever. Since I was focussed on the game, I couldn’t enjoy the moment then. But now when I think about it, it would be the most treasured memory for me.”
His wife Shweta added, “He took a pause before giving the final answer, and I got nervous. But I knew he will only answer if he was confident about it. When Amit sir announced, ‘ek crore’, I really got emotional. That moment will be remembered forever by us.”
As Gautam Jha took home a crore, we asked if he regretted not managing to answer the seven crore question. He said, “Not all, I have no regrets. Whatever I won, I did it on my merit, thanks to the years I have put in my studies. I was confused and did not want to take a chance. As you all saw, eventually, I guessed the wrong answer. Also, for me, more than the money, it’s the journey that will hold more importance.
Gautam now plans to build a house in Patna with his prize money, while his wife wants to support girls from her village. The couple added that they are ecstatic about the kind of reception they have received from their family and friends. “I was overwhelmed when I got to know that people have arranged for screenings in my hometown. Also, I have been receiving calls and messages constantly from every corner. Thanks to KBC, I am now loved by the entire country,” concluded Gautam.
Kaun Banega Crorepati airs Monday-Friday at 9 pm on Sony TV.