Professional competitive eater Joey Chestnut devoured a record 182 chicken wings to win his second consecutive Wing Bowl, a gut-busting annual event that draws thousands of revelers to the city's sports complex in the pre-dawn hours.
Chestnut, surrounded by buxom "Wingettes," had a crown adorned with tiny rubber chickens placed atop his head Friday as his winning total was announced. He also won a 2007 Suzuki Grand Vitara for out-eating his competitors — including a pair of pros who also advanced to the finals.
"I love to eat," said Chestnut, 23, of San Jose, Calif. "Today I was swallowing wings, swallowing bones, whatever it took."
Begun in 1993 by sports talk station WIP-AM and broadcast live during the station's morning show, Wing Bowl has grown into a massive event drawing a large, beer-soaked crowd and barely dressed strippers to the Wachovia Center.
This year's event pitted 15 locals against five professionals. The top local finisher was "Gentleman Jerry" Coughlan, who finished fourth with 167 wings. He also came away with a new car.
"It's all about Philly," said the event's commissioner, former Philadelphia 76ers president Pat Croce. "Where else at 6 o'clock in the morning will you get 20,000 drunk guys?"