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World's best competitive eaters come to area for spiedie eating contest

BINGHAMTON, N.Y. - Some of the highest ranked competitive eaters will be trying their luck at Tioga Downs to see who can slam the most of Southern Tier's favorite sandwich.

The 4th annual Tioga Downs World Chicken Spiedie Eating Contest sponsored by Lupo's takes place Satuday night at 7:30 p.m.

Competitors from near and far will eat as many chicken spiedie sandwiches as possible in 10 minutes.

Unlike the Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest on Coney Island, eaters cannot dunk the roll in water or manipulate it in any way.

Headlining this year's event is #1 ranked competitive eater Joey Chestnut.

He won the eating contest in 2014 and 2015 but lost to #2 ranked eater Matt Stonie last year.

Leading up to the contest, Chestnut tries to replicate the food he will be eating in a simulated contest.

A West Coast native, Chestnut says it's hard to get an authentic spiedie sandwich outside of our area.

"It was hard the first year because they don't have spiedies in California and I didn't know what to expect. Even the roll is a little bit different. I don't think I can get the same kind of roll in California. It's a special kind of sandwich and it tastes delicious. Every year, it gets a little bit easier. Even though I had a rough year last year, I feel good about this year," said Chestnut.

Stonie won the contest in his spiedie-eating debut, by downing a world record 20 sandwiches.

He's been a competitive eater for 5 years and first entered the world of competitive eating when he won a contest in college.

"I think the hardest part is chewing through all of that chicken meat. It's white meat chicken and it's tougher than a hot dog to chew through. Keeping your jaw going for the whole 10 minutes can be difficult," he said.

The winner will take home $4,000 and a gold spiedie sandwich trophy.

On Sunday, Chestnut will take part in a kale eating contest.

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