Chef David Chang has become the first celebrity to win the big $1 million prize on “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire.”
On Sunday, the famous chef, author and TV personality was playing on the show’s celeb edition in order to win the money for the Southern Smoke Foundation, a crisis relief organization for people in the food and beverage industry.
His winning question, for which he risked half the pot ($500,000), was, “Although he and his wife never touched a light switch for fear of being shocked, who was the first president to have electricity in the White House?”
The choices were A) Ulysses S. Grant, B) Benjamin Harrison, C) Chester A. Arthur, or D) Andrew Johnson.
The correct answer was Benjamin Harrison, the 23rd president of the United States who only served one term (1889 to 1893).
Chang, 43, came to the answer by using “phone a friend” and dialing up help from ESPN’s Mina Kimes, who guessed correctly.
It was an emotional moment for Chang, who is best known as the founder of the Momofuku restaurant group and his Netflix series “Ugly Delicious.” During the coronavirus pandemic, he’s given impassioned talks about the suffering restaurant industry.
“I’m doing this because having a million dollars right now, at this moment, is a game-changer for many families,” he said on the show, which is hosted by Jimmy Kimmel.
“As much as I want to walk away, and the embarrassment I would have for the rest of my life for getting it wrong, it would mean more to me to get this right to put a spotlight on the industry in need,” Chang said. “And, at this point, the way things are — things are pretty bad. I never imagined I’d be in the position. And I’ve always told myself I’m going for the million bucks. So I’m gonna let my stupid confidence — bravado — win out.”
Taking the risk worked, and he scored a big payday for people in his industry.
An elated Chang fist-bumped Kimmel and held up the giant million-dollar check, shouting, “I can’t believe this!”