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The Salvation Army National Donut Day World Donut Eating Championship

Location: Santa Monica, CA
Date: 06-02-2017
Winner: Joey Chestnut, with a WR 55 Donuts in 8 min!


Let the record, and the Internet, show that at the Salvation Army National Donut Day World Donut Eating Championship, Joey Chestnut, the #1-ranked eater in the world, set a new world Donut-eating record with 55 BakeMark glazed donuts in just eight minutes. In doing so, Chestnut bested the previous WR mark, set by none other than Eric "Badlands" Booker way back in 2002. That the record stood for 15 years is a credit to Badlands' effort.

In post-contest remarks, Chestnut would apologize to Badlands via the wonders of social media, Twitter more accurately, on taking the record. He should not. He should be proud, as should Badlands, that human endeavor marches forward. We as a people all gain when one of us does something no one else has done before. And that's what Chestnut did when he ate 55 Donuts in eight minutes.

The championship was a celebration of National Donut Day. This occasion was established in 1938 by the Chicago Salvation Army to raise much-needed funds during the Great Depression, and to honor the work of World War I Salvation Army volunteers who prepared donuts and other foods for thousands of soldiers. It is hard to imagine a United States without donuts but such was the case prior to World War I.

History lesson: The donut as we know it was a battlefield improvisation, crafted by Salvation Army "Lassies," women imbedded with US troops on the western front who provided crucial support to the war effort. Helmets became deep fryers. Spent artillery shells became dough cutters. Empty wine bottles became rolling pins. And the donut as we know and eat it was born. When US soldiers returned home, they brought with them their love of the donut, and donut shops and bakeries across the land responded to meet demand. Today, food scholars all agree—no Salvation Army, no US donut culture.

Today, the Salvation Army’s tradition of caring for our servicemen and women is as strong as ever. In Southern California, the Salvation Army operates numerous homeless shelters to help veterans get back on their feet, including Bell Shelter—one of the largest homeless shelters west of the Mississippi—and The Haven, a homeless shelter exclusively for veterans located in Los Angeles. Major League Eating remains honored to have joined the Salvation Army to help bring attention to their considerable work.

MIki and Michelle rounded out the podium placings, but proved no real threat to Chestnut on the day, if we are being more honest than polite. Rich LeFevre finished fourth and a returned and reinvigorated Jon Bello finished fifth. Welcome back, Jon. Full results below.

FULL RESULTS!! 1. Joey Chestnut 55 Donuts, new WR, in 8 min 2. Miki Sudo 41 3. Michelle Lesco 34.75 4. Rich LeFevre 32 5. Jon Bello 23 6. Sarah Reinecke 17.5 7. Mary Bowers 12.75 8. Doug Ecks 12.5 9. Charles Bill 12 10. Ryan Drane 11 11. Lt. Hector Acosta 7 12. Ian Stack DQ, alas

This contest will take place at Noon on Friday, June 2nd, 2017 at Santa Monica Place, 395 Santa Monica Place, Santa Monica, CA 90401

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**All applicants must be 18 years of age or older and fully acknowledge and understand the inherent dangers and risks associated with participating in an eating contest. The applicant further acknowledges and understands that the MLE/IFOCE coordinates with event sponsor(s) to select and approve eligible participants, and that the MLE/IFOCE shall decide, at its sole discretion, whether an applicant is eligible to participate in any eating event, and/or related activities. The MLE/IFOCE may revoke an applicant's eligibility to participate in the eating contest, or related activities, at any time, for any reason, at its sole discretion. The MLE/IFOCE and the event sponsors reserve the right, at any time, to change any and all details concerning the event, including, e.g., time, duration, location and prize structure.

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