And the chef decided to give it all to a good cause — he’s donating the entire $1 million prize to restaurant workers who have been impacted by the pandemic.
“No (celebrity) has ever gone for it,” Kimmel said. “They’ve all walked away.”
For his final question, Chang was asked to name the first US president to have electricity in the White House.
After phoning a friend — ESPN journalist Mina Kimes — Chang guessed President Benjamin Harrison, despite admittedly not even knowing whether Harrison was a president.
Chang jumped from his chair when he heard the sound of screams, as writer and director Alan Yang presented a gigantic check on stage. Chang had won.
Chang had always intended on donating the money to the Southern Smoke Foundation, a crisis relief organization for people in the food and beverage industry. If Chang had decided not to answer the question, he would have walked away with roughly $500,000. Instead, he decided to risk it all for the sake of doubling that donation.
“Having a million dollars right now in this moment, is a game changer for many, many families,” Chang says in the video clip of the episode. “And yes, half a million is as well — and I want to say ‘No, just take the money!’ — but I’m not.”
“I’m so honored that Dave chose Southern Smoke as his charity,” Shepherd told CNN. “Now, more than ever, with indoor dining shut down in many parts of the country and temperatures dropping to prohibit outdoor dining, food and beverage industry employees are desperate.”
Southern Smoke estimates that Chang’s donation will help 500 food and beverage workers.
CNN’s Shannon Liao contributed to this report.