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However, Jamal didn't learn the answer to the questions by reading books; he learned from experience, and he begins to tell the story of his life, which reveals exactly how and where he gained his knowledge.
At an early age, Jamal and his older brother, Salim, were orphaned, and had to make money however they could alone in the slums.
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The gameshow "Who Wants To Be A Millionaire" is not just part of the fabric of popular culture in America and the United Kingdom; now the pheomenon has spread to the other side of the world, and Jamal Malik, a young man who hails from the worst slum area of Calcutta, India, is now in the hot seat, one question, one snippet of trivia away from wining twenty million rupees - roughly four hundred and thirty thousand US dollars at the time of the show.
But for a boy from one of the most horrendous slums in the world, it's not just a life altering amount of money. How in the world could a boy from a slum know the answers to the questions that can net him winnings like that?
Jamal and Latika meet once again at the train station, knowing that this time they won't be parted again.He follows Salim to Javed's compound, and sure enough, finds Latika there.An idea begins to germinate in his head, even though he doesn't know it yet; whilst he is talking to Latika, "Who Wants To Be A Millionaire" is on the television in the background.Back when the brothers were close to each other, they had said that they were Athos and Porthos, but they never actually gave Latika a moniker like that when she joined them; they had simply called her "the third musketeer." Jamal admits to the gameshow host that he doesn't know the answer; but true to his "look on the bright side" character, he decides to play anyway.He uses his final "phone a friend" he calls the only person whose telephone number he knows by heart - his brother Salim.