Many celeb contestants who do well on the show choose to donate the money they win to a charity close to their hearts.
It’s been 22 years since the first episode of the American version of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire aired on ABC. Originally hosted by the late Regis Philbin before moving under Jimmy Kimmel recently, the show places a lucky contestants against a series of trivia questions to win a whopping $1 million.
However, the massive winnings doesn’t mean celebrities haven’t tested their luck on the quiz show too. Many celeb contestants who do well on the show choose to donate the money they win to a charity close to their hearts. You might be surprised to learn how many stars have appeared on this fun show! Here are ten celebrities who once appeared on Who Wants to Be a Millionaire.
10 David Chang
Ugly Delicious star and top-notch chef David Chang joined the competition in 2020. What made his appearance impressive is that he became the first celebrity to win the biggest prize and donated all the proceedings to his charity, the “Southern Smoke Foundation.” The Houston-based charitable organization aims to fund people battling health crises amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.
9 Dr. Phil
Another celeb cameo in 2020. This time, it was Dr. Phil and Catherine O’Hara who sat in front of Jimmy Kimmel. Unfortunately, Dr. Phil’s time didn’t last long and he “only” managed to earn $125,000 for his charity “When Georgia Smiled.” He spent 15 minutes on the tenth question before ended up using the 50:50 lifeline aid.
8 Anderson Cooper
Anderson Cooper joined the laundry list of celebrities who competed on the quiz show last year. The veteran journalist went all in to answer some of the silliest questions on the show. Cooper was so close to getting the biggest prize before he guessed the wrong answer for the 15th question, plummeting his winning total down to $500,000. He gave all his money to his “Spike’s K9 Fund.”
7 Julie Bowen
Modern Family star Julie Bowen definitely had her eyes on the prize. Unfortunately, that wasn’t enough, as she was one question away from the ultimate prize. She called her sister Annie, who is a disease specialist, to aid her with the final trivia question about the notorious felon Joe Exotic, whose Netflix documentary about his infamous murder-for-hire case went viral in 2020.
6 Ray Romano
Stand-up comedian Ray Romano first joined the show back in 2000. He managed to walk away with $125,000 that time, and he rejoined the quiz show roughly 20 years later. Unfortunately, Romano wasn’t quite as successful during his second foray, amassing only $32,000. His coin flips didn’t bring too much luck this time.
5 Andy Cohen
Just like Romano, Bravo’s Andy Cohen has tried his luck on Who Wants to Be a Millionaire twice. The first time one was in 2014, where he won $32,000 for the Planned Parenthood charity, and the second one was a recent venture in 2020, winning $63,600. The charity itself aims to educate and provide people with better reproductive health care globally.
4 Snoop Dogg
At this point in his life, Snoop Dogg seems to be enjoying whatever gig he gets himself into. The rap superstar joined the show during its 10th Anniversary Primetime Celebration. Proudly flaunting his “I Became A Snoop Dogg Millionaire” t-shirt, the Long Beach rapper answered a question for his “Snoop Dogg Youth Football League,” winning $50,000 in the process.
That said, it wasn’t the first time the “Doggfather” gave back to his community. He’s donated tons of money for “Habitat for Humanity,” “Orca Network,” “Shriners Hospitals for Children,” and more.
3 Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs
Another rap mogul, Sean “Diddy” Combs joined the quiz show back in 2000. Unfortunately, the Bad Boy Records boss’ run to the million was cut short because he couldn’t correctly guess who the third person was to talk on the moon. He donated all the proceedings for “Daddy’s House Social Programs.” The rapper founded the organization back in 1995 to provide life-skill classes and summer camps for New York youths.
“At Daddy’s House, our goal is to help young people prepare for today’s world by giving them hope and direction,” the rapper previously stated, as noted from LA Times. “I want to provide opportunities for those who (are) not as fortunate as I was.”
2 Queen Latifah
Queen Latifah had an impressive run on Who Wants to Be a Millionaire. In May 2000, the “Fly Girl” singer/rapper came home with $250,000 for “The Lancelot H. Owens Scholarship Foundation.” She was two questions away from nailing the $1,000,000 prize. The scholarship program subsidizes academically excellent students to fund their studies.
1 Charlie Sheen
Two and a Half Men actor, Charlie Sheen walked away with $64,000 for “The Michael J Fox Foundation” on Parkinson’s Research. His run to the mill was cut short because he didn’t know who the multibillionaire was who had released a rock album. He was wise enough to walk away with $64,000 instead of taking a reckless guess.
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