NEW YORK – America's Thanksgiving holiday is known for massive feasts that produce bloated bellies. But one group of serious eaters took it a step farther — engaging in a pre-Thanksgiving turkey-eating contest that challenged all to shove as much bird into their mouths as they could manage in 12 minutes.
This group of America's finest eaters assembled at Artie's Deli in New York on Wednesday to eat 10-pound roast turkeys in a contest sponsored by the gambling site GoldenPalace.com.
The enormous Eric "Badlands" Booker started quickly in the 12-minute contest, ripping through two turkey breasts and establishing an eight-ounce lead after three minutes.
As the contest progressed and the meat became moister in the drumsticks and shoulders, Sonya "The Black Widow" Thomas, Chip Simpson and Tim Janus gained speed.
At the end of 12 minutes, nearly all competitors had stripped their 10-pound bird down to the bones.
After an intensive session with the scales the judges had their verdict.
The most unlikely competitive eater of all, the 100-pound Thomas, of Alexandria, Va., had taken the first prize of $2,500.
Badlands Booker ended up slipping badly, finishing in sixth place.
How much turkey did Thomas have to eat in order to claim victory? It was 4 pounds, 3.1 ounces — all in a mere 12 minutes.
Among her other records: eating 65 hard-boiled eggs in 6 minutes and 40 seconds.
Her goal, she says, is to be the top competitive eater in the world. She said she took the "Black Widow" nickname because in the eating contests she likes to "eliminate the males."
Her idol? Japanese competitive eating champion Takeru Kobayashi.