Never before in the 20-year history of the celebrity version of “Who Wants to be a Millionaire” has anyone won the $1 million prize for their charity. But thanks to an ESPN reporter, that is no longer the case.
On Sunday, celebrity chef David Chang, known for his Momofuku line of restaurants and Netflix series “Ugly Deliciious,” became the first celebrity million-dollar winner, thanks to a little help from a friend.
Chang reached the million-dollar 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?”
Chang did not know the answer, so he decided to use his lifeline to phone a friend – ESPN reporter Mina Kimes.
While most know Kimes for her sports expertise and analysis on ESPN’s “Around the Horn,” she is also an alumna of Yale University, where she graduated summa cum laude.
Chang read off the choices: Ulysses S. Grant, Benjamin Harrison, Chester A. Arthur and Andrew Johnson.
Kimes, after mulling it over, said “it’s probably Harrison.”
It was not exactly the most confident response, and it left Chang agonizing whether or not to go for it or walk away with the $500,000 he had already won for his charity, the Southern Smoke Foundation – which helps people in the restaurant industry during crises, such as the COVID-19 pandemic.
Chang, who considers himself a gambler, decided to roll the dice and go with Kimes’ answer of Harrison. After some dramatic buildup, host Jimmy Kimmel revealed that Chang just won the $1 million prize.
Kimes had retweeted Chang earlier on Sunday when he promoted that he would be on the show and then followed up with an appropriate SpongeBob gif to sum up that final scene.
Chang made sure to thank Kimes on Twitter following the episode.