An architecture graduate who won a televised competition to travel through Central and South America has donated half his prize to local charities
Jamiul Choudhury, who completed his Part 2 studies at the University of Huddersfield last year, came first in the latest series of the BBC’s Race Across the World. Together with his uncle, Emon, the pair took 54 days to travel from Mexico City to Ushuaia in southern Argentina over land and sea.
They received £20,000 in prize money but decided to give £10,000 to charities working to help homeless children in the Brazilian metropolis of Sao Paulo.
Contestants in the competition were given a budget of about £1,400 – roughly the equivalent air fare – for the 25,000-kilometre challenge. Technology and bank cards were forbidden.
Jamiul and Emon took jobs cleaning yachts, in stables and as fishermen to help pay for their travel and even gave a taxi driver their iPods when they could not afford a fare in Argentina.
They travelled through 17 countries, including three under states of emergency, to win by just 20 seconds in a finale watched by an average audience of 3.3 million people.
‘It was a life-changing experience,’ said 25-year-old Choudhury, from Oldham. ‘I don’t think there’s a price that could be put on everything that we experienced. I guess it shows you that there’s a bigger world out there and it puts into perspective how minuscule we are in the wider world.’