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Bobby Bank / Getty Images; Yevgen Romanenko / Getty Images
Don't try this at a movie theater; it'll break the bank. Yesterday, Joey Chestnut — best known as the winner of 15 of the last 16 Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contests but also widely regarded as the greatest professional eater of all-time — broke the record for most popcorn eaten in eight minutes before a Triple-A baseball game at Indianapolis' Victory Field.
Chestnut ate 32 servings of popcorn weighing 24 ounces each, which was enough to break the previous record of 28.5 servings set in Las Vegas last year. Chestnut's entire accomplishment was captured live by the local television station WTHR in case you want to relive every thrilling second.
Before the event, the hot dog-eating legend shared his strategy with Indianapolis' News 8. "I'll be drinking water," he began. "One hand is going to be gripping the right size handful, squeezing it just enough. One chew in my mouth, and a sip of water to chug it down. Maybe a couple chews toward the end of the contest. My throat's going to be tired, so I'm going to have to chew a little bit more. I might actually have to drink a little bit more water. It's going to be a battle. And then there's so much air in popcorn, I'll be fighting burps towards the end. A lot of air will be trying to come out, and I just gotta fight it."
Interestingly, News 8 claimed that this new popcorn record marked Chestnut's 50th competitive eating world record, though we could not confirm where they got that landmark from. The website for Major League Eating — the competitive eating organization Chestnut is signed with — says he has 56 records (not yet including popcorn) from jalapeño poppers in April 2006 to cherry pie last month. Meanwhile, Chestnut's own website lists only 43 on his "world records" page, though none of the records are from after 2018, so perhaps the page hasn't been updated in some time.
We've reached out to Chestnut to try to get some clarity on just how many records he now holds and how many he's broken in the past, but, for the moment, it appears he's too busy competing. We'll update this story if we track down the answer.