Chestnut, the number-one ranked competitive eater in the world, claimed his sixth Nugget title in seven years and a $2,500 purse. Stephen Ascuaga presented Chestnut with the enormous trophy and could only mutter the words, “I am just in awe.”
“I feel great. I can’t wait to enjoy more ribs,” Chestnut said. “The key to getting through the ribs is getting into a rhythm and just keep pushing.”
Stonie finished in second place at 7.5 lbs, surpassing last year’s total of 6.35 lbs and marking his second top three finish in as many years.
Second-ranked eater in the world, Pat Bertoletti, took the third place prize with 5.8 lbs and remains the only competitive eater to defeat Chestnut at the Sparks event. Bertoletti also holds 38 world records to Chestnut’s 22, though Chestnut holds the rib-eating record at 9.8 lbs set in 2008.
Michelle Lesco finished fourth and Juan Rodriguez finished fifth to round out the top five. Lesco said she “didn’t do as well as she hoped” and that ribs were one of the toughest foods to eat during a competition.
Drake Nelson, a competitor from Sparks, addressed the hometown crowd as the results were being tallied. “It has been an honor to share the stage with these guys,” Nelson said. “These guys are all business.”
Chestnut received roaring cheers from the crowd at Victorian Square, and said he “felt the love” from the Sparks faithful. He told news crews he would certainly be back next year.