Kobayashi Eats 67 Krystals To Win, Chestnut in Front Until Final Minute

Japan's Takeru Kobayashi consumed 67 Krystal hamburgers in eight minutes to win the 2005 Krystal Square Off World Hamburger Eating Championship in Chattanooga, TN.

To the amazement of the more than 2,000 fans gathered in Chattanooga for the event, San Jose's Joey Chestnut was in front of Kobayashi for the bulk of the contest. At one point Chestnut led by as many as 6 Krystals but finished 5 behind Kobayashi, losing ground in the final seconds of the Square Off.

Sonya Thomas finished third with 56 Krystals and Bob Shoudt took 4th with an impressive 51.

This year's square off offered a whopping $22,500 purse. Kobayashi took home the top prize of $10,000 cash, the Krystal World Champion's Belt, the champion?s crystal trophy and the title of Krystal Square Off World Hamburger-Eating Champion.

For American eating fans, however, the story was 21-year old Joey Chestnut. He is the first eater to ever lead Kobayashi through a contest and to be well within range to beat him.

The Krystal Square Off World Hamburger Eating Championship was the culmination of 11 regional qualifying events throughout the country this fall. Other competitors included Eric “Badlands” Booker of Copiague, NY; Tim “Eater X” Janus of New York, NY; Crazy Legs Conti of New York, NY; Rich "The Locust" LeFevre of Henderson, NV; Ron Koch of Las Vegas, NV; Hall Hunt of Gainesville, FL; Sam Vise of Union City, TN; Chip Simpson of Harrisville, PA; Patrick Bertoletti of Chicago, IL; and "Buffalo" Jim Reeves of Boston, NY.