Craziest Competitive Eating Competitions Across America

Joey Chestnut and Matt Stonie

Bobby Bank / Getty

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Joey Chestnut and Matt Stonie
Bobby Bank / Getty

Picky Eaters Need Not Apply

You might be familiar with the annual July 4th Nathan’s Famous hot dog eating contest in Brooklyn, but the world of competitive eating is much bigger, covering everything from bratwurst to watermelon. It can be disgusting to watch, but also fascinating to see grown men and women stuffing all manner of food in their faces. Major League Eating keeps records and promotes competitions across the country so fans can always see who’s eating what. Here’s a look at some of the many notable foods being consumed in massive quantities at an event near you. Have you attended or participated in one of these events? Let us know in the comments.

Related: 25 Belly-Busting Food Challenges That Offer Winners a Free Meal

Hot Dog Eating Contest
Hot Dog Eating Contest by Michael McDonough (CC BY-NC-ND)

Hot Dogs

World Record: Joey Chestnut, 76 franks and buns in 10 minutes, 2021

Joey Chestnut, the man Sports Illustrated called a “frankfurter-munching phenom,” won his 15th Nathan’s Famous Fourth of July contest this summer, ingesting 63 hot dogs (and buns) in 10 minutes — well off his world record pace from 2021 but good enough for another mustard-colored belt. They don’t call him “Jaws” for nothing. Miki Sudo ate 40 dogs to win her eighth women's division title. Both took home $10,000 in prize money.

Related: Famous Franks: 28 Best Hot Dog Stands Across America

Matt Stonie
Matt Stonie by --Mark-- (CC BY-NC-SA)

Pumpkin Pie

World record: Matt Stonie, 20 pounds, 13 ounces in 8 minutes, 2014

At the recent Destination Outlets World Pumpkin Pie Eating Championship in Jeffersonville, Ohio, Geoffrey Esper ate 13.75 pounds of pie in eight minutes to take home the trophy and a check for $2,000. Amazingly, that’s well off the record set by Matt Stonie at the Elk Grove Giant Pumpkin Pie Festival in 2014 for 10.5 pounds of pie in six minutes.

Fat Mama's Tamales, Natchez, Mississippi
Phil G./Yelp


World Record: Geoffrey Esper, 95 2-ounce tamales in 10 minutes, 2019

Derek Henderson picked up his first competitive eating win and $1,500 as he polished off 50 tamales in 10 minutes in the 2022 competition at the Lewisville (Texas) Western Days. When the time limit was 12 minutes, Joey Chestnut set the record in 2012 with 102 tamales. (And you thought he only liked hot dogs.) But the time was cut to 10 minutes the following year due to a tamale shortage.

Joey Chestnut
Bobby Bank / Getty

Pork Roll

World Record: Joey Chestnut, 61.5 4-ounce sandwiches in 10 minutes, 2019

Geoffrey Esper took the crown and $2,000 at this year’s Pork Roll Eating Championship at the minor league Trenton Thunder’s ballpark in New Jersey. Esper put away 44 of the salty, savory sandwiches in 10 minutes at the seventh annual event celebrating the Garden State delicacy. Chestnut, however, holds the record.

Bratwurst by M & A Markwick (CC BY)


World Record: Geoffrey Esper, 76 3.2-ounce brats in 10 minutes, 2022

Geoffrey Esper dominated this year’s event in Cincinnati, downing a world record 76 brats in 10 minutes. He also holds the world record for 4.5-ounce brats (36 in 10 minutes) and Carmen Cincotti holds the title for 2.3-ounce brats (101 in 10 minutes).

National Buffalo Wing Eating Championship
National Buffalo Wing Eating Championship by LegendLarrys (CC BY)

Buffalo Wings

World Record: Geoffrey Esper, 281 in 12 minutes, 2019

Miki Sudo picked up $2,500 and the title of world champ for the second straight year at the 2022 National Buffalo Wing Eating Championship in (where else?) Buffalo, New York by eating 233 wings in 12 minutes. Better yet, she beat out Joey Chestnut (224) and Geoffrey Esper (194). She also won bragging rights at home: Her husband, Nick Wehry, finished fourth (167).

Colorado State Fair
Colorado State Fair by Dustin Cox (CC BY-SA)


World Record: Geoffrey Esper, 37.5 9-ounce sloppers in 8 minutes, 2020

Geoffrey Esper wolfed down 33 sloppers — quarter-pound cheeseburgers smothered in pork green chile sauce — at the 2022 Colorado State Fair to defend his title for the third year in a row.

Banana Pudding
Banana Pudding by Jonathan Cutrer (CC BY-NC)

Banana Pudding

World Record: Geoffrey Esper, 15.5 pounds in 8 minutes, 2022

Some 150 pounds of banana pudding awaited contestants in the first World Banana Pudding Eating Championship in Madison, Alabama this year. Geoffrey Esper ate about 10 percent of that to win the event and take home some bling.

Joey Chestnut
Joey Chestnut by Matt Beckwith (CC BY-NC-SA)


World Record: Joey Chestnut, 13.76 pounds in 12 minutes, 2013

Geoffrey Esper ate his way through 5.8 pounds of ribs in 12 minutes to capture the 2022 Great Midwest Ribfest championship in Minnesota, besting Joey Chestnut (who still holds the world record) and Nick Wehry (4.2 pounds each).

Strawberry Shortcake

Strawberry Shortcake

World Record: Carmen Cincotti, 22 pounds in 8 minutes, 2018

Geoffrey Esper won the 2022 Mattituck Lions Club World Strawberry Shortcake Eating Championship in June on Long Island, putting away 18.25 pounds of the sweet treat — complete with whipped cream — in just eight minutes. Cincotti chowed down 22 pounds for the record in 2018.

Lumpia Rolls

Egg Rolls

World Record: Geoffrey Esper, 32.25 4-ounce egg rolls in 8 minutes, 2022

This Lubbock, Texas event was new to the circuit in 2022, allowing Geoffrey Esper to add to his world records (18) by downing 32.25 Outlaw Egg Rolls in eight minutes.

Krispy Kreme doughnuts
Krispy Kreme doughnuts by Scott Ableman (CC BY-NC-ND)


World Record: Joey Chestnut, 55 glazed in 8 minutes, 2017

After a pandemic-induced break, when competitive eaters assembled on the deck of the USS Midway in June in San Diego, Miki Sudo downed 39.5 glazed donuts in eight minutes to take the 2022 title.

Donut Holes

Donut Holes

World Record: Geoffrey Esper, 293 in 8 minutes, 2022

The first World Donut Hole Championship took place in New Castle, Indiana in May with Geoffrey Esper setting the pace and establishing another world record of 293 Jack’s Donuts holes consumed in eight minutes.

Eaten corn on the cob

Sweet Corn

World Record: Carmen Cincotti, 61.75 ears in 12 minutes, 2017

Georgia’s Gideon Oji  took his third title in a row by finishing 54 ears of sweet corn in 12 minutes in this West Palm Beach, Florida competition at the annual Sweet Corn Fiesta. He inhaled 57 ears in each of the prior two competitions.

Spam Eating Contest
Spam Eating Contest by Matthew W. Jackson (CC BY-SA)


World Record: Geoffrey Esper, 9.75 pounds in 8 minutes, 2021

As part of the festivities for the 2021 United State Grand Prix at the Circuit of the Americas track in Austin, Texas, Geoffrey Esper polished off 9.75 pounds of spam to establish a world record and pocket a $5,000 check.

Matt Stonie Eating Champion
Matt Stonie Eating Champion by Atomicred (CC BY-SA)

Halloween Candy

World Record: Matt Stonie, 4 pounds, 1.9 ounces of various candies in 6 minutes, 2020

“Mom is not here today. We’re going to see a lot of candy going down,” said MLE co-founder George Shea on Halloween 2020 in Las Vegas before the league’s top six competitors set their sights on six pounds of assorted candy in the DraftKings Halloween Candy Bowl. When it was all over, Matt Stonie established a record to take the top prize of $2,500 and a five-foot orange toothbrush trophy.

Joey Chestnut
Joey Chestnut by AtomicRED (CC BY-SA)


World Record: Joey Chestnut, 28 pounds in 10 minutes, 2019

Joey Chestnut owns 55 competitive eating world records including this one for consuming 28 pounds of poutine — French fries smothered in gravy and cheese curds — in Toronto, Ontario, beating his old record of 25.5 pounds in 2016.

Joey Chestnut
Joey Chestnut by Eric Mesa (CC BY-NC-SA)

Red Beans and Rice

World Record: Joey Chestnut, 39.5 10-ounce bowls in 8 minutes, 2020

Joey Chestnut established a world record at the inaugural event at the Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots in New Orleans. Geoffrey Esper wasn’t too far behind with 32.75 bowls.

Egg Eating Contest
Egg Eating Contest by Ali Eminov (CC BY-NC)

Hard-Boiled Eggs

World Record: Joey Chestnut, 141 in 8 minutes, 2013

Long a top-ranked competitive eater, Joey Chestnut set the bar for hard-boiled eggs at 141 in eight minutes in a 2013 competition in Radcliff, Kentucky. The feat was worth $1,500 in prize money.

Matt Stonie
Matt Stonie by --Mark-- (CC BY-NC-SA)


World Record: Matt Stonie, 255 in 5 minutes, 2017 

After establishing the Peeps world record by eating 200 in 2016, Matt Stonie topped that mark in 2017 by slugging down 255 of the marshmallow treats. He took home $1,750 in prize money and a trophy cup filled with blue Peeps for his efforts.