David Chang Won 'Who Wants to Be a Millionaire' Thanks to Mina Kimes

By Stephen Douglas
David Chang on 'Millionaire'
David Chang on 'Millionaire'
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David Chang was on the latest episode of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire, hosted by Jimmy Kimmel. Chang got all the way to the million dollar question when he ran into a question about which president was the first to have electricity in the White House. Chang had no idea so he called Mina Kimes who gave her best guess, Benjamin Harrison. Just watch.

Chang got it. Kimes was right. A million dollars to charity. Awesome moment.

Before we go, let's talk about Norm Macdonald. Kimmel brings up Norm almost becoming the first and only celebrity to get the million dollar question, but Regis talked him out of it. I interviewed Norm Macdonald in 2011 and asked about this infamous Millionaire appearance. The original interview has been lost, but thanks to the Wayback Machine, here's what Macdonald had to say about passing on the million dollar question and the pain and anguish it caused him.

SD: Is passing on the million dollar question the biggest regret of your career?
Norm Macdonald: Yeah.
SD: Really?
NM: Yeah, thanks for bringing that up. I really do – I do think about that a lot. I f-cking think about that a lot. And actually, that had to do with gambling also, strangely enough. Because there were two – there was a big mistake I made in that. Which is I thought Regis knew the answer to the f-cking questions. And it turned out later that people told me No, he doesn’t know the answer. So I thought he was giving me verbal clues, like “Are you sure?” And I’d go “Yeah, it’s the Southern Cross.” And he’d go, “Are you sure? You can use your lifeline.” I’d go, “Oh, OK. I guess.” So I f-cking threw away all my lifelines with ones I knew and I get to the f-cking last one, pretty f-cking sure I know it…

NM: What happened was during the commercials, we were backstage. And Regis is a huge fan of Notre Dame. So we’re watching Notre Dame play and I had like fifty-thousand dollars on the game. And Regis was like "What the f-ck? What’s wrong with you?" I had money on the game and I told him how much. So then when we got back, now when I watch the f-cking clip, which I’ve seen like 200 times to relive my nightmare. When I f-cking saw it, suddenly I realized when I saw the clip, he goes, “You’ve got a bit of a gambling streak in ya don’t ya? You want to beat the game.” And was like, “Holy f-ck, he thinks I’m on…” Now when I look back on it, I thought he was saying “F-ck it! Don’t f-ckin.. It’s the wrong answer. Do no f-cking risk it.” You know what I mean? But now looking back at it, he saw some f-cking idiot f-cking backstage sweating like a pig watching the Notre Dame game. He thought I was just wildly guessing at the final answer. But yeah, man. I wanted the balloons and money to fall down so f-cking much. If you don’t win it all, you’ve fu-king lost in my opinion.

SD: I'm sorry for taking you to that dark place.
NM: Yeah, man. That was cruel. And f-cking thing lives in forever on the f-cking computer. Honestly, I almost never watch myself, but I’ve watched that so many fucking times. Just like masochistically.

That's what was on the line for David Chang. At least a decade of regret and not being able to look Mina Kimes in the eyes.

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