10 Prepare To Eat As Many Hot Dogs As Possible

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Joshua Peck lives in Maui, Hawaii, but has returned to Payson to participate in the Main Street Grille's first annual Hot Dog Eating Contest.

More than 10 contestants will have seven minutes to eat as many John Morrell hot dogs with buns as possible. The winner will receive $250 and a trophy, according to a news release from the Main Street Grille.

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Big trophies and money will go to the winners in the Main Street Grille's hotdog eating contest this weekend. Look for Brad Gray, left, Gerry Cruz of the Grille, and Danny Scott at the event.

"I could probably eat one hot dog every 20 seconds, so around 30 total," said Peck, flexing his muscles and gesturing to his 6-foot-2-inch, 240-pound frame. "I'm in it for the money to send my kids to college."

Peck said he moved to Hawaii more than a year ago. He returns to Payson every two months to visit his family.

Peck, the first person to sign up for the contest, said he has his strategy planned.

"I'll probably dunk the buns in water," Peck said. "That way, the dry bread will go down quicker and won't stick in my throat."

Peck said he will avoid the optional condiments.

"I don't like relish or mustard and I hate pickles," Peck said. "I like catsup and mayonnaise, but it has to be Best Foods or Kraft brand."

Peck said he won $200 for placing in the Testicle Festival, sponsored by the Mazatzal Casino several years ago.

"I had a basket full of Rocky Mountain oysters," Peck said. "Whoever could finish it the fastest won, not how many you could eat in a certain amount of time."

Peck said he also partook in an ice cream eating contest when he was a little kid.

"That was a fun one, except for the brain freeze," Peck said, laughing.

Peck graduated from Payson High School in 1992 and was nominated "Class Clown" and "Most Likely to be Tardy."

"My favorite class was home economics because I got to eat all kinds of free food," Peck said.

Peck said he recently underwent surgery for acid reflux disease, where stomach acid flows back into the esophagus.

"I got five holes punched in me since I had a hernia next to my esophagus," Peck said. "Stuff like steak and hamburgers would get stuck. The hot dogs go down easy."

Bottomless Pit

Danny "Bottomless Pit" Scott is competing against contestants named "Mighty Mouth," "Bratwurst Basher" and "Hot Diggity Dog" during Main Street Grille's First Annual Hot Dog Eating Contest.

Scott said he is confident he can beat his challengers and eat the most hotdogs in Payson.

"I've been practicing by eating a large Domino's sausage pizza every other night," said Scott, an employee of Main Street Grille. "Pizza opens up the belly. I can eat 12 slices in 10 minutes and still be hungry."

"He'll finish and say, ‘Let's go to Mickey D's,'" said Brad Gray, Scott's friend and fellow Main Street Grille employee. "All of a sudden, Danny's fingertips will disappear, like he's eating them off, as he stuffs himself."

In the last two weeks, Scott estimated he has spent nearly $50 on fast food, in preparation for Saturday.

"There are a couple of other contestants that are the size of eaters," said Scott, shrugging his thin frame.

"They sweat bacon," Gray added.

Scott said he is a vivid watcher of MTV's "True Life: I'm a Competitive Eater."

"That's where I learned all my tricks," said Scott, whose professional eating experience consists of a cherry seed-spitting contest when he was 6 years old. "If you eat cabbage, it'll stretch your stomach to allow a larger volume of food storage."

Instead of downing cabbage, Scott, a Payson High School graduate, said he prefers his "strict beer diet."

Scott said he thinks he can devour 17 hot dogs without condiments in the allotted seven minutes.

"I'll straight dip them in the water and get ‘em down," Scott said. "It's not about quality; it's about quantity."

Scott said he already has plans for the $250 grand prize.

"I'm going to take all of the contestants to the bowling alley and we're going to bowl," said Scott, grinning.

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