By Josh Mitchell
Corinth Today News Editor
The No. 1 ranked eater in the world devoured 41 slugburgers in 10 minutes in Corinth on Saturday.
Joey “Jaws” Chestnut, who just won the Fourth of July hotdog eating contest in Coney Island, N.Y., captured the World Slugburger Eating Championship in front of an energetic Corinth crowd.
He almost topped the record, which is 43 slugburgers in 10 minutes.
While Chestnut of California did not break the slugburger eating record, he is still this year’s champion and was pleased with his performance. He consumed eight more slugburgers this year than he did in last year’s event.
“I still came out on top, and the crowd was pushing me— it was fun,” Chestnut said. “I’m happy to be back here. It’s just a fun place. Every year I look forward to coming back.”
Chestnut said he did not get to “prep” as much as he wanted for the competition. After eating more than 40 slugburgers, Chestnut was in good spirits, walking around and posing for pictures with fans.
Ken Williams of Corinth was surprised at how much Chestnut ate.
“I just couldn’t believe he could consume that many at one time,” Williams said. “He looks like he feels fine now.”
Williams added that the event, including the entertaining announcer, Sam Barclay, was “a lot of fun.”
The slugburgers, which were provided by the White Trolley Cafe in Corinth, “tasted great,” Chestnut added.
“We don’t get these in California at all, so it’s fun trying to eat something different,” he said.
The event featured 11 eaters, and three of them were from Corinth. The others came from states such as Massachusetts, Colorado and Pennsylvania.
Barclay, the announcer, got the crowd pumped up before the show started, saying, “Competitive eating is the only sport that matters.
“The great one is in our midst,” Barclay said, referring to Chestnut.
There was a $3,000 purse, with $1,500 going to first place.
An ambulance was on standby in case any of the eaters overexerted themselves. After all, the “mighty slugburger” is “one of the most demanding foods on the annual major league eating slate,” Barclay said.
Taylor Coombs of Corinth has participated in the slugburger eating contest for several years, and this year she ate 3.75 slugburgers.
“I wanted to do five, but I didn’t, but that’s OK,” Coombs said.
This was the fifth annual World Slugburger Eating Championship, which is sanctioned by Major League Eating and presented by Main Street Corinth. Brent Johnson, Main Street Corinth director, said it was a “great competition” and family friendly event for downtown Corinth.