Even though hot dogs seem All-American, they’re not. Sure, we’ve perfected them—some would say we’ve turned them into an art form—but no matter how much we’ve embraced them, they shall always be the provenance of Germany. Hamburgers, on the other hand, are American; despite their German-sounding name, hamburgers were invented in New Haven, Connecticut in 1895. So why is it that one-man wiener-eating machine Joey Chestnut gets to be a household name because he can scarf down 76 hot dogs at a clip, but Donald Gorske, aka “The King of Big Macs,” lives in total obscurity as he slowly but surely consumes multiple Big Macs every day of his life?
Maybe Gorske’s new record will impress my fellow Americans enough to lift this hamburger hero up to the heights of celebrity he deserves: In 1999, he captured the Guinness World Records title for the most Big Mac burgers eaten in a lifetime. Now, 22 years later, he has cemented his legendary status, with Guinness confirming that Wisconsin resident Donald Gorske has eaten 32,340 Big Macs in his lifetime, and he has no plans to stop any time soon.
Gorske says his journey to gustatory greatness began on May 17, 1972—the day he bought his very first car, drove to McDonald’s, and fell in love with the patriotic taste of two all beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions on a sesame seed bun. In his younger days, Gorske said he would pack away up to nine Big Macs a day, but he has since slowed down, now consuming only two Big Macs per visit.
You might be asking yourself how Guinness World Records can confirm these claims. The answer: Gorske has kept a record of every single burger he has eaten since that fateful day 49 years ago, saving every receipt and container, organizing them by year in storage boxes, and maintaining a detailed record book of all his Big Mac adventures. The collection is worthy of a museum, demonstrating the evolution of product packaging across several decades and showcasing an unfathomable level of dedication to a single sandwich. (The Big Mac isn’t even close to the best burger on the McDonald’s menu! That would be the breakfast-only Steak, Egg, and Cheese Bagel. No, I will not be entertaining any counterarguments, as they’re wrong.)
Another frequent query: “Is Donald Gorske physically okay?” Yes, Gorske confirms he is in good health. The expert record-keeper says that his blood sugar levels are excellent, his cholesterol is “exceptionally good,” and that he walks about six miles per day to maintain cardiovascular health. Gorske says he plans to continue eating Big Macs every day, maintaining his extraordinary record until he sheds this mortal coil for the Golden Arches of heaven. Let’s see Joey Chestnut exhibit that kind of devotion to hot dogs.