| Bipasha Basu congratulates Jay Prakash Jaiswal, who collected his jackpot on Wednesday. Picture by Pabitra Das
What does it take to bring back to town the man who bagged the biggest jackpot in Indian lottery history' The lure of big bucks and Bipasha Basu.
Scared by the spotlight and hounded out by new-found relatives after winning Rs 17,29,15,375 in May, Jay Prakash Jaiswal spent three months away from it all, in his UP hometown of Azamgarh.
The 50-year-old returned to Calcutta on Wednesday to pocket the draft of Rs 15,56,24,749 (after tax deductions) and share the limelight with Bips.
Jaiswal had bought a Rs 10 online lottery ticket on May 25, from a College Street kiosk. Seventy-five minutes later, he had hit the Playwin jackpot. Four days of suspense later, the scrap-iron trader emerged as the fastest crorepati in town.
“I was forced to leave Calcutta because I was scared with all the hype it generated. Relatives started calling me up from god knows where. I also needed to calm myself down because the jackpot had taken me completely by surprise,” explained Jaiswal.
Waiting to lead the crorepati back into the limelight was Miss Corporate herself.
If the wide-eyed man looked bewildered in a sparkling white shirt, the short-haired star was a pretty picture of poise in a short black shirt, blue jeans and thick metallic belt. And if Jaiswal’s rags-to-riches story has prompted many people to try their luck at online lottery, the Bengali bombshell could be the latest in line. “His success is phenomenal,” she smiled. “I am really tempted to buy my first lottery ticket and try my luck,” said the actress.
If Bipasha wins with a Calcutta ticket, Playwin could have to bring Brad Pitt down to do the honours (see box).
That may remain a dream for the Beedi babe, but there’s no stopping Jaiswal living out his — spending his jackpot on family, business and charity, in that order. “Till now, I did not have the money in hand. Now, I am going to sit with my family and decide how to spend it. A large part of it will be invested in my dwindling scrap iron business. And yes, some will go to charity,” said a jubilant Jaiswal.
One thing he won’t do — following sage advice from Bipasha — is “produce a movie”.
“If you like Hindi movies so much, you can act in one,” said the showgirl to the man with the moolah.