Chestnut downs 257 doughnuts in 6 mins. to earn eating prize

The Philadelphia Inquirer
June 04. 2018 11:21PM
Contestant Eric "Badlands" Booker from New York City eats powdered donuts in the first-ever Hostess Donettes-Eating contest on Friday at Liberty Place in Philadelphia. (Jessica Griffin/Philadelphia Inquirer/TNS)

Number one-ranked competitive eater in the world, Joey Chestnut, left, raises his fist in victory, after being declare the winner of the first-ever Hostess Donettes-eating contest on Friday at Liberty Place in Philadelphia. (Jessica Griffin/Philadelphia Inquirer/TNS)

For most, National Doughnut Day either goes entirely unnoticed or is celebrated with one, or maybe two, glazed morning or midday treats.

For Joey Chestnut, the day meant inhaling 257 powdered Hostess Donettes in six minutes, a world record that won him $4,000 at a Major League Eating competitive eating event at The Shops at Liberty Place.

“It was easier than I anticipated, and one of the way tastier events that I’ve done,” says 34-year-old Chestnut, a full-time competitive eater with a baker’s dozen worth of competition years under his belt.

Three-time Wing Bowl champ Chestnut, a native of San Jose, Calif., is currently ranked the No. 1 competitive eater in the world and partakes in events nearly every weekend. He’s broken records with foods ranging from fish tacos to asparagus to Philly cheesesteaks and travels to destinations including Australia, China, and states all across the country to chow down for cash.

Sporting a perfectly shaped beard of powder on his face and a not so perfect showing of crumbs and water on his T-shirt, Chestnut recalls that the hardest part of the Donettes event came at the start.

“The first bite is always the most challenging for me,” says Chestnut. “But once I get past the nerves, I can get into a rhythm. The powder actually wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be.”

Chestnut explains that he was able to spill water into his mouth in between fistfuls of compacted Donettes, helping to counteract the dryness that comes naturally with eating more than 40 powdered doughnuts per minute.

Among the other nine competitors, personalized competition tactics included adding milk and coffee into the mix, wearing plastic gloves, and utilizing huffing techniques to speed up the swallowing process. Donette dipping in water was not permitted.

More than just Chestnut went home with money on Friday with a total of $8,000 distributed among the top seven doughnut-downers. The second-place contender, Carmen Cincotti, was just 13 Donettes short of tying with Chestnut, polishing off 244 to achieve $2,000.


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