David Chang, the founder of Momofuku and host of “Ugly Delicious,” is the first celebrity to win the million dollar award on ABC’s “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire” after Sunday night’s heartbreaking episode.
After being inactive since May 2019, the game show was relaunched this year with Jimmy Kimmel as the host. Since its inception in 1999, only 13 people have won first prize on the US version of the show – only six on the UK version. And no celebrity contender has ever won the million until Chang has.
Like the celebrity earnings who have competed since resuming the show this year, Chang’s $ 1 million has gone to a charity of his choosing. He chose the Southern Smoke Foundation, a Houston-based emergency relief organization for people working in the hospitality industry.
After 15 grueling rounds of questions, the million dollar question was strained, as Chang used his last lifeline to phone a friend to help him answer, “Although he and his wife never hardened a switch for fear of being shocked, who the first president to have electricity in the White House?
Chang called ESPN analyst and reporter Mina Kimes, who, herself uncertain, replied “probably [Benjamin] Harrison. «
Fans and friends tweeted about Kimes with enthusiasm and praise after the episode aired.
An uncertain Chang pondered for a few sweaty minutes before finally choosing to follow Kimes’ response and take the risk instead of coming away with a $ 500,000 donation.
“My Asian playing genes are very strong in me, because that’s what went beyond common sense,” Chang said Monday morning during a conversation with Kimmel on his podcast, “The Dave Chang Show”.
As his victory was announced, digital confetti exploded on the screen and a shocked Chang jumped out of his chair to nudge Kimmel.
There were no studio audiences to cheer him on, so Chang described the sweet feeling of victory in an empty room except for himself, Kimmel and a friend, the award-nominated director. Emmy, Alan Yang, whom Chang also used as a lifeline.
“I still don’t understand that this happened,” Chang said. “It was the most extra-corporeal experience. I do not know what happened.
He also spoke about the impact he hopes the money will have on Southern Smoke, an organization that gives donations to small business owners or food service workers when they experience debt or other crises.
“I wanted to raise awareness in the restaurant industry,” he said. “Southern Smoke was unable to do its annual charity campaign because of Covid. … I was glad we could do this, because it’s been a ridiculously difficult year. I was like, man, I want the world to show him what the people in the industry would do. ”