A Brief History Of The Big Texan 72oz Steak Challenge
One thing I love in life is a good steak. Gimme a big ol slab of meat cooked medium rare and I'm in heaven. However, one thing I just can't envision being able to pull off is the steak challenge at The Big Texan.
It's not to say I couldn't eat 72oz of steak along with everything else, but I'd need about 3-5 hours to put it all down. To try and knock this out in an hour seems bananas to me. I felt I needed some kind of vindication in this thought, so I started to look into the history of the challenge
WHERE IT ALL BEGAN
It all started back in 1960 when the founder of The Big Texan Bob Lee decided to hold a contest for some working cowboys. It was wrapped around how many steaks they could eat in just one hour. The prize for such a thing? A whopping $5. The winning cowboy knocked down 4 1/2 one pound steaks, along with a baked potato, a shrimp cocktail, a salad and a dinner roll. Lee was so impressed by the cowboy he declared at that time, "Whoever eats that much again in my restaurant, he gets it for free", and the steak challenge was born.
The steak challenge will set you back $72...initially. That's to say you pay $72 up front for the meal, and if you complete it in under an hour, they refund you every last cent. As of 2015 (it's the most recent numbers I could find), over 140,000 people had attempted to finish this beast of a meal in under an hour. Only 11,000 or so have actually gotten their money back. That's just shy of 8% of the attempts that were completed successfully. How about generating a little over $10 MILLION in revenue just for the attempt. Talk about a perfect marketing ploy.
The Big Texan has received a ton of publicity surrounding the challenge, popping up on the TV show "Man VS. Food" and the movie "Waking Up In Reno". Conan O'Brien even shot hoops outside AT&T Stadium with the steaks using a special catapult that you can WATCH HERE.
THE RECORD HOLDER
Records are made to be broken, and this one has been broken several times. However, the current record holder belongs to competitive eater Molly Schuyler. She smashed the meal down on May 26, 2014 in just 4 minutes & 58 seconds. She even polished off another one after that for good measure. She wasn't happy with that time though, and decided less than a year later to not only break her own record, but to attempt to put down THREE meals in under 20 minutes. The results? She knocked out the first meal in just 4 minutes & 18 seconds to break her own record. The other two after that? Yup, you guessed it, she beat the buzzer...barely. You can watch her do it HERE.
THE RULES, A LIVE STREAM & A YOUTUBE CHANNEL
Now every contest has to come with rules right? This one is no different. The Big Texan has laid out 11 very specific rules you must abide by, and you can find them here. If you don't feel like participating in the challenge yourself, you can live vicariously through those that do by watching their live stream or re-living those moments already attempted on their YouTube channel.
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