Chef David Chang Donates $1 Million He Won In ‘Who Wants To Be A Millionaire’ To Charity [Video]

Chef David Chang Becomes First Celebrity to Win 'Who Wants To Be A Millionaire'

  • David Chang reached the $500,000 mark on “Who Wants To Be A Millionaire” and he decided to go for the million-dollar question.
  • A friend over the phone helped him answer the question: “Who was the first U.S. president to have electricity in the White House?”
  • He won the $1 million prize which he intends to help fund a charity that helps people struggling in the food and beverage industry.  

David Chang, celebrity chef, founder of the Momofuku restaurant group, and the host of the “Ugly Delicious” series on Netflix, was the first celebrity to win a million dollars on “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire.”


After reaching the $500,000 mark on the game, Chang was faced with a rather simple, but difficult question. If he could answer, he’d win the $1 million, but if not, he’d drop back to $32,000 — and the million-dollar question was:

“Who was the first U.S. president to have electricity in the White House?”

He used his lifeline, call-a-friend, and he called Mina Kimes, an anchor at ESPN. She, too, was totally unsure of her answer but her best guess was Benjamin Harrison.

“This is the most painful, nervous … this is terrifying,” Chang said. “She’s so much smarter than I am, though, and she knows this stuff. Truthfully, I don’t even know if Benjamin Harrison was a president!”

Photo Credit: ABC

The game’s host, Jimmy Kimmel, reminded him of the consequences and that if he would pursue to answer the 1 million question, he would be the first celebrity to do so in the history of the show. 

“I’m a gambling man, and shame on me if this is wrong, but I’m doing this because having a million dollars right now in this moment is a game-changer for many, many families,” Chang said. 

Chang played the game with the intention to use the money in order to help fund the Southern Smoke Foundation and its cause to assist people in the food and beverage industry who are struggling during this global pandemic. 

“And yes, half a million is as well and I want to say no, just take the money, but I’m not,” he said. “And Mina, if you’re wrong, it’s not your fault. This is all my fault because I didn’t do well enough in school and I was a terrible student. That’s why I became a chef!”

The strong tension could be felt in that few moments then he let his “stupid confidence, bravado, win out,” and locked in his final answer, Benjamin Harrison! 

Well, guess what?! He got the correct answer! 

“I can’t believe this!” Chang said, smiling widely in disbelief holding up his giant $1 million check. “What? What?!”

Photo Credit: John Fleenor / ABC

They called Mina Kimes to tell her the great news and she replied jokingly: “Finally! My college education is justified!”


Source: TODAY

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