Nevadan Wins Chili Eating Contest

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Forget the Pepto-Bismal. Rich "The Locust" LeFevre was doing just fine after winning his second straight Stagg chili eating contest.

The Henderson man wolfed down 1 1/4 gallons, or 10 pounds, of chili in 10 minutes Saturday to top a field that included some of the nation's top competitive eaters.

"I feel great. I could easily eat more if I had to," said the man known as the Michael Jordan of chili eaters.

A mere 5-6 and 140 pounds, LeFevre easily out-gorged some rivals who were more than twice his size.

The 59-year-old retired accountant is ranked fourth overall on the International Federation of Competitive Eating circuit.

The chili eating contest was one of 60 stops on the circuit, whose premier event is the Fourth of July hot-dog eating contest in Coney Island.

LeFevre finished fourth in the event this year, downing 25 1/2 hotdogs in 12 minutes. Last month, he shoveled down 12 jumbo corndogs in 10 minutes in Dallas.

"The secret to success? I like to eat and I just have a big stomach capacity," said LeFevre, whose latest win netted him $500 and a year's supply of chili.

Circuit spokesman George Shea said LeFevre has all three keys to success in competitive eating: hand speed, stomach capacity and jaw strength.

"The smaller you are the better you do," he said. "The heavier you are, the fat around your stomach prevents your stomach from expanding."

At 5-feet-7 and 106 pounds, Sonya Thomas of Alexandria, Va., turned in the circuit's most amazing feat of the year by eating 65 hard-boiled eggs in six minutes and 40 seconds. The previous record was 38.

Other contests involved oysters, tacos, chicken wings, hamburgers, jalapeno peppers and barbecue ribs.