Television chef David Chang made history last week with the first celebrity grand prize victory on ABC’s “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire.”
The Momofuku restaurant group founder and “Ugly Delicious” host was left tongue-tied on a Sunday airing of the show as everything came down to one final question.
Chang had seemingly been stumped by an obscure historical question: Who was the first U.S. president to have electricity in the White House?
“Millionaire” host Jimmy Kimmel reminded Chang he could walk away with $500,000 at that moment, or he could risk it all for the $1 million prize — a gamble no other celebrity had taken in the show’s history.
Chang opted to use one of his “lifelines” to phone friend and award-winning ESPN analyst Mina Kimes. Using the process of elimination, Kimes ventured a guess that the correct answer was Benjamin Harrison, the 23rd president of the United States.
This was the correct answer, though neither Kimes, nor Chang were certain of it.
Kimes later revealed on the “ESPN Daily” podcast that she “was not confident at all,” given less than 30 seconds to come up with an answer.
“As soon as I said ‘Harrison,’ the phone cut off immediately,” Kimes said. “I probably would’ve kept talking and said ‘But I’m not sure.’”
Chang would go on to hesitate for a few minutes. If he followed Kimes’ suggestion and guessed correctly, he would receive the jackpot prize of $1 million.
If her suggestion proved wrong, his cash prize would drop down to just $32,000.
“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!”
Chang ultimately decided to take the risk and listen to Kimes.
“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.
He was playing to raise money for the Southern Smoke Foundation — a crisis relief organization that has recently taken to feeding families hard-pressed as a result of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Knowing how much $1 million could do for those struggling families, Chang gave his answer.
Kimmel waited a few moments before smiling to tell Chang his bold move had “just won you a million dollars.”
Jumping out of his seat in pure amazement, the contestant yelled, “I can’t believe this! What!”
After presenting Chang with a massive check for the total amount, the showrunners once again phoned in Kimes to give her the good news.
Voicing her relief, the ESPN anchor then poked fun at her weighty credentials saying, “Finally, my college education is justified!”
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.