Canadian body builder Pete Czerwinski consumed 41 pounds of latkes in 8 minutes to be crowned National Potato Latke Eating Champion of 2008. Pete ate 46 latkes in all, with second place being awarded to Will Millender, who ate only 29.
Millender, a 380-pound community college student from Brooklyn, details his life story:
"I've picked up a lot of bad eating habits. So, I've always known I can eat a lot, and I've never really had the tools to be healthy about it. So that's basically where this started, where I was unhealthy and then finally in my everyday life I'm trying to be better and more strict about what I eat."
Which is why he chose to eat nearly 25 pounds of food.
Czerwinski, who is also a mechanical engineering student, shattered the old record of 31 latkes, set by Tom "Goose" Gilbert. He described his freakish powers:
"I'm just a power eater. My brain never signals that I'm full."
Pete Czerwinski had never eaten a latke before.
Other people were just there for the free food, like Paul Arcaria:
"Yeah, this is for fun on the weekends. I'm 9-5 during the week and, uh, ya know, you get some travel, hang out with some really cool people."
And Mike Hoffman, who participates in pickle-eating contests (I KNOW, LOL), and considers latkes a "treat":
Hoffman, who weighs about 150 pounds, prides himself on "beating guys three times my size." But such a boast is not without danger.
"I've got to be careful, they might eat me one day," he said with a laugh.
First prize was $300, or about $363 in CanadaBux, where Pete will no doubt return with his winnings. I threw some feces at an abacus and determined that Pete averaged one latke every 10.4 seconds. I'll say it again, that's alotta latkes.