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Chef David Chang is first celebrity to win Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? – The Guardian

US television

Momofuku restaurant group founder will donate winnings to restaurant workers affected by pandemic

Guardian staff

Mon 30 Nov 2020 23.13 GMT

Chef David Chang has become the first celebrity to win the US edition of the quizshow Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? – and he has donated the million-dollar top prize to restaurant workers affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

For his final question, Chang was asked to name the first US president to have electricity in the White House. In a clip from the episode Chang says: “This is terrifying.”

The famed New York restaurateur, founder of the Momofuku restaurant group, decided to phone a friend – as the show’s rules allow – and then guessed President Benjamin Harrison from the possible options on display, despite not knowing whether Harrison was a president.

Chang on ABC’s Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? Photograph: John Fleenor/ABC/Getty Images

By taking a guess, Chang had risking losing most of the prize money, but his instincts turned out to be correct and he scooped the million dollars.

Chang is donating the cash to the Southern Smoke Foundation, a crisis relief organization for people in the food and drinks sector.

“Having a million dollars right now, in this moment, is a game changer for many, many families,” Chang said in the video clip of the episode, which was broadcast on Sunday.


As coronavirus cases surge across the US, workers in the restaurant industry have faced mass layoffs and extended furloughs. Many who have returned to work are risking their health in the face of some diners who shun or get angry at coronavirus safety protocols. They also deal with increased workloads and cuts to wages.

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