Three-time champion ‘Eater X’ to defend world tamale-eating title

Tim "Eater X" Janus, world champion tamale-eater. Photo submitted by Lewisville Convention & Visitors Bureau.

(Lewisville) Defending champion Tim “Eater X” Janus, who has won the World Tamale Eating Championship three times in the event’s six-year history, will return to Lewisville to defend his crown on Saturday, Sept. 24, during the Western Days festival in Old Town Lewisville.

The event, organized by the Lewisville Convention and Visitors Bureau and officially sanctioned by Major League Eating (MLE), will pay a total purse of $3,500 to the top six finishers. The contest will start at 1:15 p.m. on the front steps of Lewisville City Hall, 151 W. Church Street. Registration is being conducted online at

Janus, an SMU alum living in New York City, is currently ranked 3rd in the world by Major League Eating. He set the current world record when he ate 71 tamales in 12 minutes to win the 2007 title. He also won the World Tamale Eating Championship in 2006 and 2010.

A strong field of challengers stands in his way this year, including six ranked among the top 45 competitive eaters in the world by MLE. Matt “Megatoad” Stonie of San Jose, Calif., who is ranked 10th and will be making his first appearance at the tamale competition. Stonie began his competitive eating career in August 2010 at a spaghetti contest in New Hampshire, and has rapidly climbed the ranks of eaters to become a force in the MLE.

Other ranked competitors registered for the Lewisville event are #21 Stephanie Torres of Las Cruces, N.M.; #22 Damon “the Omen” Wells of Orange, Calif.; #24 “Nasty” Nathan Biller of Wichita Falls; #30 Brian “Sig Sexy” Beard of Denver; #36 Gary Klucken of Waco; and #43 Tony “Bam” Martinez of Dallas.

Janus is not the only competitor signed up for a repeat appearance in Lewisville. Biller has placed among the top-five four times, including a second-place finish in 2009 when he ate 42 tamales. Beard competed the past two years and placed third in 2009. Klucken was 10th last year as a rookie. Martinez has competed the past two years. Brent Ricord of Keller competed in 2008 and 2009, placing fourth in 2009.

The final field for 2011 also will include a representative from festival sponsor First Choice Power, raising money for a local charity through a pledge campaign; and the winner of the Lewisville City Employee Championship that will be held the week prior to the main event.

The inaugural World Tamale Eating Championship was held during the Bassmaster Elite 50 Country Fair at Lewisville Lake in June 2005 and was won by Levi Oliver of Austin, who established a world record by eating 36 tamales in 10 minutes, 30 seconds. He remains the only Texan to win the world title in tamales.

Oliver’s record was beaten in May of the following year in Houston by Chip “Burger” Simpson of Pennsylvania before being broken by Janus in Lewisville in 2006 and again in 2007. The 2008 championship was won by Patrick Vandam of Minnesota, that season’s “Rookie of the Year” honoree. The 2009 event saw Juliet Lee of Germantown, Maryland, eat 48 tamales in 12 minutes to become the first female champion.

In 2010, Janus returned after a two-year absence to reclaim his crown by eating 59 tamales in 12 minutes, edging out fellow world-class eater Sonya “Black Widow” Thomas by just three tamales.

MLE is the governing body of all stomach-centric sports, conducting more than 70 events annually including the Nathan’s Famous Fourth of July International Hot Dog Eating Contest in Coney Island, N.Y. The competitive eating community, which numbers more than 3,000 veteran and rookie athletes, travels the nation in search of top titles and the glory that they provide.

The world Tamale Eating Championship is part of a full two-day schedule of activities planned for Western Days 2011, designed to showcase Lewisville’s rich heritage. Other offerings include three festival stages of live music, arts and crafts vendors, cooking demonstrations, gunfight re-enactments, trick ropers, car show, the First Choice Power Food Court, and a Stickhorse Rodeo for kids.

The festival is free, but a ticket is required. Free tickets are available at the festival website,, at Lewisville City Hall, and through entertainment sponsor 99.5 The Wolf. Festival schedule is 7-11:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 23, and 10 a.m.-11:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 24. Main stage headliners are Josh Abbott on Friday night and Pat Green on Saturday night.

Sponsors for Western Days 2011 include City of Lewisville, Lewisville Convention and Visitors Bureau, First Choice Power, Gilley’s, Time Warner Cable, Bright Realty, TIAA-CREF, The Apparel Group, Chase, MedFusion, Horizon Health, Orthofix, Vinson Process Controls, Vista Ridge Village Shopping Center, Bud Light and 99.5 The Wolf. Community supporters include Old Town Business Association, Old Town Preservation Society, Lewisville Morning Rotary Club, Greater Lewisville Kiwanis Club and Lewisville High School.

For the latest information on Western Days 2011, visit or call 972.219.3401.

Early Registrants – 2011 World Tamale Eating Championship

Tim “Eater X” Janus, New York City, N.Y.(#3)

Matt “Megatoad” Stonie, San Jose, Calif.(#10)

Adrian“the Rabbit” Morgan, Baton Rouge, Louisiana (#14)

Stephanie Torres, Las Cruces, N.M.(#21)

Damon “the Omen” Wells, Orange, Calif.(#22)

“Nasty” Nathan Biller, Wichita Falls, Texas(#24)

Brian “Big Sexy” Beard, Denver, Colo.(#30)

Gary Klucken, Waco, Texas(#36)

“Beautiful” Brian Sieken, Brooklyn, N.Y.(#40)

Tony “Bam”Martinez, Dallas, Texas(#43)

Bobby Bryan, Ardmore,Okla.

Brent Ricord, Keller, Texas

Joashua Lambert, Austin, Texas

Past Champions – World Tamale Eating Championship

2005 – Levi Oliver, Austin, Texas

2006 – Tim “Eater X” Janus, New York City, NY

2007 – Tim “Eater X” Janus, New York City, NY

2008 – Patrick Vandam, Eagan, Minn.

2009 – Juliet Lee, Germantown, Md.

2010 – Tim “Eater X” Janus, New York City, NY

Progression of tamale-eating World Record

June 2005 – Levi Oliver (36 tamales, 10 minutes and 30 seconds)

May 2006 – Chip Simpson (41 tamales, 12 minutes)

September 2006 – Tim “Eater X” Janus (51 tamales, 12 minutes)

May 2007 – Joey Chestnut (53 ½ tamales, 12 minutes)

September 2007 – Tim “Eater X” Janus (71 tamales, 12 minutes)

Submitted by James Kunke, Lewisville Convention and Visitors Bureau.

For more information, be sure to also read this Blue Ribbon News’ Western Days story.

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