Flush at twenty years old
Student Kim won Miljoenenjacht
Flush at twenty years old
‘Drive safe in your new car’, her mother wrote on a piece of paper the morning that Kim Hartjes went to attend the shoot for game show Postcode Loterij Miljoenenjacht. Her mother had been making jokes like that for days, because there was no way Kim was going to win anyway.
Except she did. The twenty-year-old pharmaceutical student became the youngest winner ever on the game show, taking home 100,000 euros. After a week, the money was deposited into her account. After gambling tax had been deducted, she’s left with a nice 69,000 thousand euros. ‘It feels a bit more real now’, says Kim.
From Delfzijl to Terneuzen
Kim attended the Miljoenenjacht shoot with her boyfriend Arno and other Winschoten inhabitants with the same zip code. Of the five hundred competitors, she got the closest answer to the question of the shortest distance between the towns of Delfzijl and Terneuzen. ‘When Linda de Mol said it was 370 kilometres, I knew she would be coming to me, because I’d written down 372.’
Her prize was exactly that which her mother had been joking about: a brand new car. She decided to decline it, however, and move on to the next round on the show. She easily defeated her competitors, although it didn’t feel like that to her. ‘They were all grown-ups, I had no faith in myself at all.’
Once she’d made it to the final round and was standing next to presenter Linda de Mol, Kim selected suitcase 21. It was an easy choice: it’s her birthday as well as the anniversary of her father’s death, who died on October 21, ten years ago. Her mouth dry with nerves, Kim opened the remaining suitcases, which held sums ranging from one cent to five million euros. Finally, she received an offer of 100,000 euros on suitcase 21, and she took it.
In the car on the way back, Kim was constantly on the phone with her mother and two sisters. She and Arno made a pit stop in Joure to get some food, but Kim had trouble finishing her chicken nuggets.
On top of that, she couldn’t tell her friends, who were extremely curious, what had happened for another three weeks. ‘I told them to just watch the show when it aired. But everyone knew something had happened, at least. When the show aired, I told my cousin to just watch, that everything would be fine.’
The first thing she did with her winnings was pay her mother back for the tuition fees. She also bought her mother a laptop. ‘She didn’t want me to, but what’s a thousand euros compared to the money I have?’ says Kim.
She bought herself a brand new, dark blue Mazda 2. ‘Everyone’s going to think I’m driving my mum’s car, but it’s mine. Isn’t it brilliant?’ So where’s the rest of her money? ‘In my savings account, where it’s going to stay.’
Winning all that money did throw Kim’s life into disarray. In the weeks after the shoot she had trouble focusing on her studies. ‘I just wasn’t motivated to go to class at all. It was so exciting to have won all that money when no one knew.’After the show aired, RTV Noord asked her for a live interview, and someone even recognised her when she took the bus. She’s still having trouble focusing on her pharmaceutical studies. ‘I promised myself I’d do well in school this year, but that Tuesday messed it all up.’