Malaga poet wins 1.8 million jackpot in TV quiz show Pasapalabra
David Leo García had been unbeaten for 109 programmes of Pasapalabra, the popular word game show in which contestants are tested on their fast reaction and general knowledge in the company of celebrities. The 27-year-old, originally from Malaga and now resident in Barcelona, had come within just one word of winning the jackpot on 13 occasions, but his day finally arrived on the show aired on Monday, when he completed the full alphabet circle and came away with a total of 1,866,000 euros.
The biggest cash prize ever awarded by the channel Telecinco was his, thanks to ‘ranzón’, a less common word in Spanish for ‘ransom’, which is normally referred to as ‘rescate’.
David Leo was no stranger to television studios when he first went in for Pasapalabra. The Hispanic Philology graduate from Malaga University and teenage winner of poetry prizes had already won 54,000 euros on the show ‘Avanti’ on Antena 3 and 16,000 euros on ‘Saber y Leer’ on La 2.
David Leo gave up his job as a Spanish teacher for foreigners in Barcelona last October when he decided to devote his time entirely to Pasapalabra. “I spent at least four hours a day reading dictionaries and encyclopaedias and learning bits of general knowledge of all kinds, from everyday objects, to Nobel prizewinners,” he said.
When asked by show host Christian Gálvez what he would do with the money, he said that first on the list was a trip to Japan, then he wanted to set up a café bookshop and an academy for “useless facts”.
“I’m in no hurry to spend it,” he told SUR. “In fact I hope that the money from Pasapalabra will last all my life, if Hacienda [the tax office] allows that, I know it will take a big chunk,” he explained.
Meanwhile he says he is still working on his poetry with a view to publishing a book at some point. First though, David is back in the studio to record Pasapalabra: Bote Máster, a version of the show with other former contestants.
Pasabalabra began on the channel Antena 3 in 2000 and moved to Telecinco in 2006. It is based on the British game show The Alphabet Game which aired on BBC 1 in 1996 and 1997. This was later remade for ITV as Alphabetical.source surinenglish