Joey “Jaws” Chestnut became the first-ever Martorano’s Masters Meatball Eating Champion today, Sunday, Nov. 8, at the Rio All Suite Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas. Chestnut devoured 50 meatballs in the 10-minute Major League Eating (MLE) sanctioned competition. The 6.25 pounds of meatballs eaten in 10-minutes set a new world record in the meatball discipline. The contest featured a star-studded field of Major League Eaters and celebrities all vying for a $1,500 first-place prize and title of Martorano’s Meatball Champion.
When asked about the key to his victory, Chestnut quickly pointed to the quality of the meatballs. “The great taste and high quality of the meatballs were evident in every bite,” said Chestnut. “I am honored to have name my forever associated with Martorano’s world-famous meatballs.”
The competition proved to be fierce with Pat “Deep Dish” Bertoletti finishing a single meatball behind Chestnut’s total of 50 to finish in second place and win $750. Diminutive 105-pound Sonya Thomas ate 42 meatballs to finish in third place ($500), while rookie upstart Ben Monson ate 38 meatballs to finish in fourth place and win $250. Henderson, Nevada native Rich “The Locust” LeFevre, 65, came out of retirement to compete in his hometown and ate 33 meatballs to finish sixth.
“Watching the best eaters in the world eat bowl after bowl of my meatballs was a real compliment,” said Steve Martorano. “It was very important to me that they enjoy the meatballs during the championship and I am proud my meatballs could satisfy the appetites of top Major League Eaters.”
Playboy cover model and new starlet of Fantasy in Las Vegas, Angelica Bridges, also got in the act and competed at Martorano’s on Sunday. Bridges, who was recently honored by Maxim margazine as one of the “50 Sexiest Women in the World,” was the thumbs up crowd favorite in her competitive eating debut, where she ate 10 meatballs totaling more than a pound of food.