Chef, restaurateur, media mogul, author, fried-chicken innovator, and newly minted podcast host David Chang has met another personal milestone: He is now the first celebrity to win $1 million on Who Wants to Be a Millionaire.
With a strong assist from his “smartest friend,” screenwriter Alan Yang, Chang correctly navigated questions about inkblot tests and Emirati currency, and SpaceX capsules named for Peter, Paul, and Mary songs (“Puff the Magic Dragon,” obviously), before phoning friend for help in the final round.
The question: “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?” Was it Grant? Harrison? Chester A. Arthur? Andrew Johnson? It was, Entertainment Weekly observed, a “nail-biting moment.”
With $1 million hanging in the balance, he consulted his friend, ESPN journalist Mina Kimes. Harrison, she told him. Harrison, Chang said. It was indeed Harrison.
Here’s the better news: Chang’s celebrity million will go to the Southern Smoke Foundation, a crisis-relief organization for people in the food-an-beverage industry, a business (even pre-COVID) not exactly known for its safety net. The foundation offers grants to help cover individual emergency expenses, from medical bills and car accidents to weather catastrophes.