Who needs a Michelin star (or two) when you have $1 million and game show glory? Last night, chef and restauranteur David Chang made history when he became the first-ever Who Wants to Be a Millionaire celebrity guest to win the top prize. Chang’s winnings went to the Southern Smoke Foundation, a charity organization that provides critical relief for people working in the food and beverage industry.
Previous Who Wants to Be a Millionaire‘s celebrity contestants have come close to winning $1 million, but never have they completed the puzzle to snag the jackpot. After a successful round, Chang was finally stumped on the final question, which required a serious amount of knowledge about U.S. history and the White House (“Who was the first president to have electricity in the White House?”). When the Momofuku owner opted to phone a friend, ESPN’s Mina Kimes, she told him that the answer is “probably [Benjamin] Harrison,” although she wasn’t positive.
“This is the most painful, nervous — this is terrifying!” said Chang, as he debated whether to trust Kimes or to pick another answer. “I didn’t do well enough in school and I was a terrible student — that’s why I became a chef.”
Of course, host Jimmy Kimmel quickly reminded Chang of “the stakes” of the situation. “You’ve got $500,000. If you get this right, you’ll win $1 million. If you don’t, you drop all the way down to $32,000,” he said. “No celebrity in the 20 years that this show has been on has ever won the million dollars … No one’s ever gone for it. They’ve all walked away.” Way to make him feel better, Kimmel!
Ultimately, Chang stuck with his “stupid confidence” and “bravado” and went with the final answer of Benjamin Harrison. After what felt like an entire hour, Kimmel announced that Chang was correct, and the history-making giant check was quickly handed over to him.
“You see that?! Good things do happen sometimes!” said Kimmel, as the audience cheered. “I can’t believe this!” replied Chang. “What?! What?!”
Watch David Chang’s final Who Wants to Be a Millionaire question in the clip above, and check out the entire episode on Hulu.
Where to stream Who Wants to Be a Millionaire