100-Pound Sonya “The Black Widow” Thomas to Headline Thanksgiving Eating Invitational
Vying for Cash Prize and Coveted Title of World’s Greatest Turkey Eater

Just two days before America’s biggest eating holiday, where more than 45 million turkeys are expected to be served for Thanksgiving dinner , the world’s greatest competitive eaters will go head to head to see who can eat the most turkey at the inaugural Wild Turkey® 81 Eating World Championship, on Tuesday, Nov. 22 in New York City.

The 10-minute competition, which challenges competitors to down 10-pound roast turkeys, is sanctioned by Major League Eating (MLE), will take place at 11:00 a.m. at The Times Center on 41st Street near Times Square, and will feature a total prize pool of $3,081, with the winner taking home $1,581 and the cherished Wild Turkey 81 Eating World Championship belt.

Headlining the event will be the 100-pound Sonya Thomas, the diminutive number-four MLE ranked eating marvel out of Alexandria, Va. Dubbed “The Black Widow,” Thomas made history earlier this year after winning the first-ever women’s hot dog eating championship belt on July 4. Thomas regularly defeats men twice her size and holds 24 eating world records. Over Labor Day weekend in Buffalo, N.Y., she set a new world record by consuming 183 chicken wings in 12 minutes and beating top-ranked Joey Chestnut.

The turkey eating invitational is title sponsored by the “Official Whiskey of Thanksgiving,” Wild Turkey 81 Bourbon, the newest addition to the Wild Turkey bourbon family. In addition to sponsoring the event, Wild Turkey is also making a charitable donation of 81 turkeys to a NYC metro food bank to help families during the Thanksgiving holiday.

The Wild Turkey 81 Eating World Championship is a timed contest to see who can consume the most turkey meat from a whole turkey. Each roast turkey will be 10-pounds and will be weighed again following the contest to determine accurate results. The second place finisher will take home $750, while $500 and $250 will go to the third and fourth place eaters.

“Our slogan for Wild Turkey is ‘Give ‘Em the Bird’ and that’s exactly what we’re doing with this world-class event – giving 10-pound birds to the world’s best eaters and watching them devour them in an epic battle royale,” said Eddie Russell, Associate Master Distiller of Wild Turkey and creator of Wild Turkey.”I am sure our namesake bird won’t go down without a fight!”

Looking to upset Thomas are two of New York’s top Major League Eaters – “Badlands” Booker and “Crazy Legs” Conti. The 400-pound Booker, a competitive eater and hip-hop artist from Queens, enters the event with world records in glazed doughnuts and pumpkin pies. A 10-year MLE veteran, Conti is a national champion in sweet corn, a food not dissimilar to turkey in competitive eating circles given the heavy emphasis on technique and hand-to-mouth coordination.

“Sonya will face men literally four times her size as she seeks the Wild Turkey 81 Eating World Championship belt,” said George Shea, chairman of Major League Eating. “She will provide a lesson for all those Americans who approach the Thanksgiving meal as a competitive event.”

Event Info:

What: Wild Turkey 81 Eating World Championship

When: Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Time: 11:00 a.m.

The Times Center (ground floor Gallery room)
242 West 41st Street
New York, NY 10036

To attend this event as a spectator, you must RSVP to to have your name put on the guest list. This is a must in order to watch!!

About Wild Turkey 81
Created by Wild Turkey Associate Distiller and Bourbon Hall of Fame member Eddie Russell, Wild Turkey 81 might not be as big as its elder brother Wild Turkey 101, but it’s still the toughest kid in its class. It uses Wild Turkey’s famous high-rye mash bill for a spicy kick and is aged longer than others in the category: up to eight years in hand-selected American oak barrels. Utilizing a bold #4 “alligator” char, the barrels give Wild Turkey 81 the vanilla and caramel smoothness that marks it as real Wild Turkey bourbon. Wild Turkey 81 stands tall on its own, but really shines in mixed drinks where its robust flavors never shy away. Wild Turkey 81 was awarded a Gold Medal and named Best in Class at the International Wine and Spirit Competition.

About Skyy Spirits, LLC
The eighth-largest spirits company in the US, Skyy Spirits, LLC is a wholly owned subsidiary of Davide Campari-Milano S.p.A. (Reuters CPRI.MI - Bloomberg CPR IM), together with its affiliates Gruppo Campari. Launched in 1992 with the introduction of its flagship brand, SKYY® Vodka, Skyy Spirits has grown exponentially, building a portfolio unrivaled in its quality, innovation and style, making it a top choice among distributors, retailers and consumers. Skyy Spirits manages Gruppo Campari’s portfolio in the US with such leading brands as SKYY® Vodka, SKYY90®, SKYY Infusions®, Campari®, Wild Turkey® Straight Kentucky Bourbon, American Honey®, Russell’s Reserve®, Glen Grant® Single Malt Scotch Whisky, Cabo Wabo® Tequila, Espolón® Tequila, Carolans® Irish Cream, Irish Mist® Liqueur, Sagatiba® Cachaça, and Jean-Marc XO Vodka®. Skyy Spirits is also the exclusive US distributor of The Glenrothes® Single Malt Scotch Whisky, Bowmore® Islay Single Malt Scotch Whisky, Auchentoshan® Lowland Single Malt Scotch Whisky, Glen Garioch® Highland Single Malt Scotch Whisky, Flor de Caña® Rum, Midori® Melon Liqueur, Hibiki® Whisky and The Yamazaki® Single Malt Whisky. Skyy Spirits was founded and is headquartered in San Francisco, California. More information on the company can be found at,, Twitter: @SkyySpirits and Please enjoy Skyy Spirits brands responsibly and in moderation.

About Gruppo Campari
Davide Campari-Milano S.p.A., together with its affiliates ("Gruppo Campari"), is a major player in the global beverage sector, trading in over 190 nations around the world with a leading position in the Italian and Brazilian markets and a strong presence in the USA and Continental Europe. The Group has an extensive portfolio that spans three business segments: spirits, wines and soft drinks. In the spirits segment its internationally renowned brands, such as Campari, Carolans, SKYY Vodka and Wild Turkey stand out. It also has leading regional brands including Aperol, Cabo Wabo, Camparisoda, Cynar, Frangelico, Glen Grant, Ouzo 12, X-Rated Fusion Liqueur, Zedda Piras and the local Brazilian brands Dreher, Old Eight and Drury’s. Its wine segment boasts the global brand Cinzano, as well as important regional brands including Liebfraumilch, Mondoro, Odessa, Riccadonna, Sella&Mosca and Teruzzi&Puthod. The soft drinks segment comprises the non-alcoholic aperitif Crodino and Lemonsoda as well as its respective line extension dominating the Italian market. The Group employs over 2,200 people. The shares of the parent company, Davide Campari-Milano S.p.A. (Reuters CPRI.MI - Bloomberg CPR IM), are listed on the Italian Stock Exchange.

More information on the company can be found at HERE.