Ghatkopar doctor becomes first Mumbai-based contestant in 8 years to win Rs 1 crore on KBC 12

Ghatkopar doctor Neha Shah had been vying for the hot seat since Kaun Banega Crorepati (KBC) began 20 years ago. But little had she imagined that she would sing Jiska mujhe tha intezar (Don, 1978) for host Amitabh Bachchan on the reality show. Or that she would walk away with Rs 1 crore prize money, becoming the first Mumbai-based contestant to hit the jackpot, in eight years. The last winner from the city was Sunmeet Kaur Sawhney in 2012.

A quizzer, Shah kept herself abreast of current affairs by reading newspapers. "But when I was selected for the 12th season, I began reading about mythology, history, social sciences and the solar system. I bought an atlas to study the countries and their cities." She was so busy preparing that she didn't have time to buy an outfit for the show. "I borrowed my friend's dress," she grins.

Ask her how Bachchan reacted when she crooned for him, and she says, "He asked after my family, and put me at ease. So, I focussed on getting the right answers rather than the amount I was making." Shah, who has been a frontline worker, adds that most of her patients were aware of her aspiration to participate in KBC.