SINGAPORE CITY: An Indian national has won SGD18,888 in cash at the company’s dinner-and-dance event in the hit South Korean survival drama Squid Game, where players compete to win life-altering rewards, but minus the deadly stakes.
The prize money is equivalent to one and half years’ worth of his salary at the heavy vehicle leasing firm Pollisum Engineering which hosted the event last Saturday, reported The Straits Times.
Selvam Arumugam, 42, had not heard of the show before.
Selvam works as a rigger and signalman, inspecting and maintaining crane and lifting equipment to ensure the safety of lifting operations at construction sites for Pollisum Engineering which gave out a total of SGD100,000 in prize money during the event.
Selvam, who studied up to Secondary 1 in India and joined the company in 2015, supports 15 family members back home. His parents and two brothers have died, leaving behind their wives and a total of seven children. He also provides for his in-laws.
Selvam said he will use the prize money to build a family home in India – the family currently lives in a rental flat – and help his brothers’ children pay for their studies.
“When I found out that I had won, I couldn’t believe it… I called my entire family to tell them about this good news,” he said in Tamil.
“My wife thought it was a joke at first until (my friend) spoke to her. All of them were celebrating and crying at the same time. This will be a moment that we will never forget for our entire lives,” Selvam added.
In the Netflix series, hundreds of cash-strapped contestants compete in children’s games for a huge cash prize while risking their lives in the process.
Players at the dinner and dance sported red tracksuit jackets with number tags, while game masters wore red hooded jumpsuits, like characters in the drama series.
A giant inflatable ball filled with money hung from the ceiling in full view of the players, similar to the show’ piggy bank.
Despite not understanding the rules of the games, he tried his best, said Selvam, who has a wife and three teenage children. He first came to Singapore to work in 2007 from Tamil Nadu.
He copied what players in front of him were doing and ran as fast as he could during the Red Light, Green Light game and managed to escape elimination.
In a TikTok video of the event, Selvam is seen falling to his knees and covering his face with his hands in disbelief when he learnt he had won the top prize. He won SGD18,888 (more than ₹ 11.50 lakh) in cash.
The company’s annual dinner and dance was attended by 210 employees, including mechanics, drivers and sales staff.
Executive director Chris Ang said the company wanted to reward its workers as it has been doing well and expanding in the past two years.