David Chang wins $1 million for charity

Chef David Chang has been vocal in both his support for restaurant workers and criticism of how national, state, and local governments have failed to protect the restaurant industry during the pandemic. The outspoken chef recently competed on the celebrity version of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire, playing for his chosen charity the Southern Smoke Foundation. Chang became the first celebrity to win the full jackpot, earning $1 million USD for Southern Smoke.

The tense winning moment came when he used the phone-a-friend option to ask ESPN analyst Mina Kimes the answer to which U.S. president was the first to use electricity in the White House: Ulysses S. Grant, Benjamin Harrison, Chester A. Arthur, or Andrew Johnson. Kimes correctly identified the President in question, although she seemed less than 100% certain. Chang wavered on the answer, saying that Kimes was much smarter than he was, before committing to Harrison.

Host Jimmy Kimmel held the audience in suspense for what seemed like an eternity but was really only several seconds before confirming that Chang had answered correctly, winning the grand prize for his charity. Southern Smoke Foundation is a crisis relief organization for people in the food and beverage industry. It has distributed hundreds of thousands of dollars in 2020, prioritizing funds for medical emergencies.

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