Champion competitive eater Takeru Kobayashi scarfed down 337 wings in a half hour at Wing Bowl XX, earning himself a $20,000 prize and a new world record.
Nearly 20,000 spectators gathered at Philadelphia’s Wells Fargo Center Friday morning for the gluttonous celebration, held each year two days prior to the Super Bowl. This was Kobayashi’s first year competing in the Wing Bowl, but he’s certainly no newcomer to the world of competitive gorging. After winning six consecutive titles at Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest, the New Jersey resident was banned in 2010 due to a contract dispute with Major League Eating, the event’s organizers, CNN reported. That year, he was also arrested for rushing the stage at the Coney Island event, which he attended as a spectator.
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But none of that stopped Kobayashi from getting back into the game. He participated in an eating exhibition last year, where he devoured a cheesesteak in 24 seconds. And at Friday’s Wing Bowl, the Japanese competitive eater arrived with a healthy appetite for competition. Weighing in at 127 pounds, he bested his much larger opponents, including three-time champion Jonathan “Super Squibb” Squibb and local favorite Bill “El Wingador” Simmons.
Though 337 wings in a half hour might seem impressive (or, more likely, nauseating), the champion was unfazed. “The truth is,” he told the Philadelphia Inquirer after the contest, “that if you brought me another hundred wings right now, I think I could eat them.”
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