On Sunday night’s Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?, chef David Chang made history by becoming the first celebrity to win the TV game show’s top prize. The Momofoku owner doesn’t plan to keep the cash though—he’s donating all $1,000,000 to people who work in the food and drink industry. Restaurants and bars have been one of the hardest hit industries during the COVID-19 pandemic. And without much government support, Chang’s offer will make a huge difference to struggling businesses.
Chang’s million-dollar question 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?” Chang could choose between Ulysses S. Grant, Benjamin Harrison, Chester A. Arthur, and Andrew Johnson. The celebrity chef didn’t know the answer, but luckily he still had his “phone a friend” lifeline. He called up his friend and NFL analyst Mina Kimes. She wasn’t 100% sure, but she confidently guessed, “It’s probably Harrison.” Chang, who called himself “a gambling man,” put trust in Kimes’ hunch and went for it. Fortunately, they were correct!
After he won, Chang wrote in a tweet, “Since the government won’t help out restaurant workers, we have to do what we can to help out.” He will donate his winnings to the Southern Smoke Foundation, a crisis relief organization for people in the food and beverage industry. SSF has distributed $4,097,425 to 2,071 people nationwide, but Chang’s donation is estimated to help an additional 500 restaurant workers. “I’m so honored that Dave chose Southern Smoke as his charity,” says Chris Shepherd, the founder of SSF. “Now, more than ever, with indoor dining shut down in many parts of the country and temperatures dropping to prohibit outdoor dining, food, and beverage industry employees are desperate.”
Watch Chang’s winning moment below.
Chef David Chang made history by being the first celebrity to win the top prize in Who Wants To Be a Millionaire?
He will donate the prize money to Southern Smoke Foundation, a crisis relief organization for hospitality workers.
On last night’s @MillionaireTV, celebrity chef @DavidChang needed to answer one final question to become the first celebrity winner ever in 20 years. Stumped, he called upon who other than…@MinaKimes!!! For the win. $1M will be donated to hospitality workers in need 👏👏 pic.twitter.com/47RkK3IUoV
— Field Yates (@FieldYates) November 30, 2020
This was his million-dollar question.
— ESPN (@espn) November 30, 2020
— Jimmy Kimmel Live (@JimmyKimmelLive) December 1, 2020
— Alan Yang 楊維榕 (@alanyang) November 30, 2020
David Chang: Twitter