This "Millionaire" moment just made history.
Celebrity chef David Chang, host of the Netflix series “Ugly Delicious” and founder of the Momofuku restaurant group, just became the first celebrity to take home the $1 million prize for charity on “Who Wants to be a Millionaire.”
Things were down to the wire for Chang during Sunday night’s episode when he reached the $500,000 mark on “Millionaire” and was confronted with a tough history question: Who was the first U.S. president to have electricity in the White House?
He used the phone-a-friend lifeline, calling ESPN anchor Mina Kimes for help. She guessed the answer was "probably" Benjamin Harrison, but she didn’t sound completely confident.
“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!”
Host Jimmy Kimmel reminded him of the odds: If he answered the question correctly, he would win $1 million, but if he answered wrong, he would drop all the way back to $32,000. Kimmel also reminded Chang that no celebrity had ever gone for the $1 million question in the show’s history.
“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,” said Chang, who was playing to raise money for the Southern Smoke Foundation, which has been helping people in need from the food and beverage industry during the pandemic.
“And yes, half a million is as well and I want to say no, just take the money, but I’m not,” he said. “And Mina, if you’re wrong, it’s not your fault. This is all my fault because I didn’t do well enough in school and I was a terrible student. That’s why I became a chef!”
After a few more tense moments, he decided to take the plunge.
“I’m going to let my stupid confidence, bravado, win out,” he said.
Luckily, his gamble paid off. He locked in Benjamin Harrison as his final answer and to everyone’s relief, he was right.
“I can’t believe this!” Chang said, beaming from ear to ear as he held up his giant $1 million check. “What? What?!”
After his victory, they called back Mina Kimes to tell her the good news.
“Finally,” she joked, “My college education is justified!”
This story first appeared on TODAY.com. More from TODAY: