For every human being, food is a basic need but whereas some people’s reason for eating is to live some others simply live to eat. It does not just end with these two groups of people; there’s a third category and this is where people like Takeru Kobayashi, Joey Chestnut, Miki Sudo, Carmen Cincotti, and our major focus, Matt Stonie, fall into – these are people to whom eating has become not just their jobs but their lives.
Matt Stonie’s journey into the world of competitive eating was never planned from the beginning but things often happen in the course of every man’s life’s that sometimes points us in a different direction than we planned to take. Matt made his debut in Major League Eating in 2011 and recorded his first major win in 2015, with an unexpected victory over food eating superstar, Joey Chestnut, at the Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest that year. Since that impressive feat, the professional eater has clinched several eating world records and has also remained the last man to beat Chestnut.
In addition to his career in the food eating circuit, Matt also has an eponymous YouTube channel, where he accepts and engages in various food eating challenges. As of April 19, 2020, he has over 300 videos on his channel, 11 million subscribers, and over 2 million views.
Matt Stonie’s Background And Journey To Professional Eating
Matt Stonie was born on the 24th of May, 1992 in San Jose, California. His father is Dorian Stonie but his mother’s identity is unknown at the moment. He is believed to have grown up in a family of four, with his only sibling being a younger brother named Morgan Stonie. The professional eater is a former student of Evergreen Valley High School from where he graduated before heading to Mission College where he studied nutrition with the hope of becoming a dietitian. However, Matt is currently taking a break from his university studies to focus on his eating career full time
The young man ventured into competitive eating in 2010 and finished his first stunt by eating an 18-inch long Burritozilla at a Mexican restaurant in San Jose. This made him realize that he had what it took to eat a lot of food at a go and as a result, he took part in more eating competitions. Later in 2010, a lobster-roll-eating contest was scheduled to take place in Hampton Beach, New Hampshire, and the winner was to go home with a $1,000 prize.
Attracted by the ultimate prize, Matt Stonie entered for the contest and emerged the winner by eating a quarter of a lobster roll more than the person in the second position. It was at this point that he began nursing the thought of taking the “funny hubby”, as he called it, to a professional level. However, it took him a while before he joined the tour as he needed some time to figure out the right way to do competitive eating and stay healthy.
His nutrition classes, he said, helped him figure this out easily as it helped his understanding of the human body. In addition, Matt also did a lot of trial and error to know what worked best for him since competitive eating is not exactly what can be studied. Ready to take on eating as a profession, he eventually participated for the first time in Major League Eating at the 2011 Stockton Deep Fried Asparagus Championship which held in Stockton, California. At that time, he was the league’s youngest member.
Matt’s Carrer Achievements So Far
Since he became a part of Major League Eating, Matt Stonie has recorded several milestones, including setting several records, a number of them being world records, and beating eight-time defending champion, Joey Chestnut. In 2013, he broke three world records, first on the 26th of March when he ate a birthday cake weighing 5.5 pounds in just nine minutes, then on September 29th when he consumed a 10.5 pound frozen yogurt within a space of six minutes at the Phantom Gourmet Food Festival, and then about one month later he finished within 4 minutes 43 seconds, a 7.5 lb Kookamonger Burger.
In 2014, the professional eater participated in a number of competitions, grabbing four world records for eating 32.5 Indian Tacos in eight minutes on March 29 and 43 Slugburgers within ten minutes at The World Slugburger Eating Championship which happened on July 12. He also became the holder of two more world records that year after he ate 20.8 lb of pumpkin pie in 8 minutes at the Elk Grove Pumpkin Festival and consumed the most McDonald’s Happy Meal in 15.22 seconds.
The year 2015 saw the competitive eater clinching six world records and beating Joey Chestnut at his own game at the Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest, which Joey had won consecutively for eight times until then. Matt floored the eight-time champion by eating 62 hot dogs, two hot dogs more than Joey, in ten minutes.
The following year, Matt Stonie took part in The World Silver Dollar Pancake Eating Championship and The World Moon Pie Eating Championship. He emerged winner at both events, having eaten 113 silver dollar pancakes and 85 Moon Pies in 8 minutes each. On the 4th of July 2016, Chestnut reclaimed his title at the Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest with 70 hotdogs while Matt took the second spot with 53 hot dogs. In the years the followed, Stonie’s position at the competition has remained unsteady as he came in third in 2017, fifth in 2018, and fourth in 2019. Thus, his ranking in Major League Eating has also been unstable- he is ranked third presently.
Meanwhile, the star eater added two more world records to his name in 2017 when he finished 255 Peeps in five minutes at The World Peeps Eating Championship that took place in National Harbor, Maryland, on the 8th of April and 20.5 Chicken Spiedies within 10 minutes at the August 12th Tioga Downs World Chicken Spiedie Eating Championship.
Matt Stonie’s Challenges And Rivals In The World of Competitive Eating
Taking part in or watching competitors gulp down extraordinary amounts of food might be fun but there are some down-sides to these activities that the spectators may not know about. One of them is the constant weight fluctuations, which is in no way healthy. According to Matt, he can gain up to 20 pounds after one competition that may last no more than 10 minutes. However, he manages to shed the weight, a lot of which he says is water weight, by working out and dieting.
Another challenge that comes with the eating profession, according to Matt is going to a contest and being presented with a literally disgusting meal. On one of such occasions, he was in a cow-brain tacos-eating competition with Joey Chestnut and the amount of fat in the brain of the cow was very horrible but worse was the fact that one could practically see the cow brains.
Also on his YouTube channel, Matt is sometimes seen doing his thing like its no big deal but some other times, he is seen obviously struggling. The latter happens among other reasons when he mistakingly fails to cook a meal properly. This was the case with his “Giant Ass English Breakfast” challenge, which he considers to be his most difficult challenge owing to the fact that the over 10,000 calories of the English traditional food he cooked, comprising of toast fried in butter, blood sausages, etc, turned out not to be well cooked. However, because he was on camera, he could not disappoint his fans and was, therefore, left with no choice than to eat it all up.
Although Matt Stonie is currently one of the best competitive eaters in America, there is one person that he sees as his major competition, who is standing on his way to becoming the number one man in the industry. That person is none other than Joey Chestnut, who has remained a dominating force among professional eaters world over for years now, maintaining the number one ranking.
Speaking in an interview in 2016, Matt revealed that apart from the hot dog record, the one record he does not yet have but wants was Joey’s 2016 World Poutine Eating Championship record of 25.5 pounds. However, while he was still trying to beat that record, Joey raised the stakes in 2019 by eating 28 pounds of the gravy-filled Canadian delicacy all within 10 minutes. Thus the multiple-time champion became the winner, knocking Matt Stonie into the 8th spot with the 15.375 pounds of poutine he was able to finish. That notwithstanding, Matt will definitely return this year more prepared, thanks to his never quitting spirit.
Meanwhile, as Matt works towards taking over Chestnut’s place, he keeps an eye on him during competitions to learn what he does differently. This means that even though the competitors may appear as though they are just trying to shove food down their throats, they are very aware of what the next person is doing.
Personal Life of the Pro Eater
Since he became a notable personality, fans of Matt Stonie have wondered if the young competitive eating star has a significant other. So far, the answer is uncertain. However, we do know that Matt Stonie is not a married man, but whether or not he has a girlfriend at the moment remains unknown. The San Jose-born star has so far, kept his personal life away from the public.
If that will change in the near future remains to be seen, but fans of the competitive eater/Youtuber who are eager to find out can keep in touch via his social media pages and his YouTube channel.
Other Facts About Matt Stonie
• Matt Stonie might not have a wife or girlfriend, but his successful career as a competitive eater has made him a financially comfortable man. The San Jose-born Major League Eating star has a net worth of $700,000 according to several sources.
• Contrary to what you might expect from a man who eats competitively, Matt doesn’t have a favorite food. According to him, it is best not to have one, to keep himself from enjoying the meals, which would reduce his eating speed. While he does not have a favorite food, he does have a favorite ice cream, which is Ben and Jerry’s Milk and Cookies flavor.
• While the rest of us might have to answer a few questions from the IRS if we wrote off our grocery bill as work expenses, it is the truth in the case of Matt Stonie. According to him, when he buys food while training for a competition, he gets to write it off as a work expense.