A rack of ribs is not safe anywhere within arm’s reach of Rich LeFevre, aka “The Locust.”
At the 11th annual Nugget World Rib-Eating Championship in Nevada on Wednesday LeFevre came in third behind the No. 1 and No. 2 competitive eaters in the world, Joey Chestnut and Matt Stonie.
LeFevre snarfed down 4.8 pounds of ribs in 12 minutes.
He is 72 years old, according to competitive eating records, which caused TMZ to nearly lose its mind, declaring his third-place finish “the biggest shocker” because he crushed competitors half his age.
Joey Chestnut regained his title at the contest — he’s won nine of 11 of them now — eating twice as many ribs as LeFevre.
According to LeFevre’s Major League Eating “bib sheet,” the Henderson, Nev., resident is “known for his strong jaw and for his capacity, which seems to increase, not decrease, as a contest progresses.”
He is currently ranked No. 14 in the world by Major League Eating. His “Locust” nickname is regarded as one of the all-time classics in competitive eating.
In a career that stretches back on the books to 1995, he’s wolfed down steaks, malts, chili cheese fries, meatballs, burgers — and a huge Thanksgiving meal back in 2003.
In 2007 he lost (and reportedly swallowed) a tooth in a rib-eating contest.
According to EatFeats.com, he’s eaten 7.75 pounds of huevos rancheros in 10 minutes, 89 pancakes in eight minutes, 1.5 gallons of Stagg chili in 10 minutes and a world-record six pounds of Spam in 12 minutes.
LeFevre, who weighs 117 pounds, grabbed a lot of respect and attention in 2006 when he beat much-younger competitors and set a world record by eating 247 pickled peppers in eight minutes.
At his age, metabolism is not his friend, LeFevre once told The Thrillist.
“It’s certainly not an advantage being old, that’s for sure. I think the younger guys have a better chance of doing great,” he said.
But he can boast of once beating former Chicago Bears star William “Refrigerator” Perry in a cake-eating contest. One newspaper announced the results with this headline: “The Fridge loses eating contest to skinny man.”
LeFevre’s wife, Carlene, is a competitive eater, too. Together they are known as the “First Family of Competitive Eating.”
Before he put on a bib and started stuffing his face, LeFevre was a certified public accountant.
Fellow CPAs rejoiced in July when they saw him compete for the holy grail of competitive eating at Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest, where LeFevre was said to be the oldest competitor in event history.
“Don’t know if anyone else watched the hot dog eating contest today but Rich LeFevre is representing the accountants today,” one accountant wrote on Reddit. “Don’t know about you but I think Rich is a great ambassador for us.”