PETALING JAYA: The decision to use “unusual” methods and answers to solve The Star Rewards Bumper Crossword Puzzle 2002 might be risky, but for Arumugam Thelakar Veerappa, it won him a BMW 520i (A).
“There were some questions which had two or three answers. But I always chose the uncommon answers. May be that was why I won the grand prize.
“And some of my friends would call me ‘stupid’ because of the way I tackled the puzzle,” he said yesterday after receiving the keys to his “dream car” from Star Publications (M) Berhad managing director Datuk Steven Tan at Menara Star here yesterday.
Also present were Auto Bavaria general manager (sales and marketing) Datuk Tunku Badlishah, Star Publiations group chief editor Datuk Ng Poh Tip and other senior management staff.
Several winners from Puzzles 11 to 25, representatives from the Selangor and Wilayah Persekutuan Vendors Association, Pos Malaysia Bhd, AMP Radio and Datamation Malaysia also attended the prize-giving ceremony.
Arumugam said that in tackling the puzzle, he would “work backwards” by getting the spelling for a word and after he had found the words, he narrowed them down again by going through the Microsoft Word programme for a grammar check.
“When I had the answers, I would talk it over with friends. But I would always select my own answers in the end,” he added.
The 36-year-old audio-visual manager at the Sunway Lagoon Resort Hotel said he had only submitted one entry for the final puzzle, which was the only one he took part in.
“My initial intention was to win the Freelander because my children liked it but I was too busy with my work and only completed the puzzle halfway. It was the same for the Audi. So, by the time I was free, the contest was for the BMW, he said.
Terming his win a miracle, Arumugam said that seeing the car had put him in a state of shock again.
“I had recovered (after the announcement) but the car is beautiful and I have no idea whether to keep it or not. That will be up to my family to decide,” he said.
He had won the jackpot prize in a similar contest organised by The Star in 1995, clinching almost RM21,000. However the prize money was shared with other winners.
There had been more than 98,000 entries for Puzzle 25.
The first part of the contest, which offered RM10,000 each week, began in May for 10 weeks. Fifteen cars were offered for the second part of the contest, which started in August.
Close to a million entries were received for the overall contest.
In his speech, Tan said that besides being a reward to The Star’s loyal readers, the contest was interesting and proved that the newspaper was interactive with its readers.
“The greatest success (of the crossword puzzles) was fostering unity and friendship among family and friends,” he said, adding that the contest also provided fun and promoted the English language regardless of age and background.
Tan also urged those who had not won to keep on trying in future contests.
Tunku Badlishah said the project was a successful one for The Star, Auto Bavaria and BMW.