Matt Stonie is one man who has carved a niche for himself in competitive eating, an activity that involves people consuming a large quantity of food within a specified short time. It is a competition yet to gain traction on a global scale, but one that has found a massive following in America and made stars of names like Joey Chestnut, Dominic Cardo, and Matt Stonie.
Interestingly, unlike other sports that require training from a young age and dedicated facilities, different competitors find their way to competitive eating via various means. Matt Stonie’s road to competitive eating is just as fun as the sport itself.
Matt Stonie’s Competitive Eating Career Began With Free Food
For a long time, Matt Stonie was living a seemingly ordinary life as an American citizen. Born on May 24, 1992, he grew up in San Jose, California, with all the challenges that come with being the child of interracial parents. Through his father, Dorian Stonie, and mother, Cathy, he has Japanese, Czechoslovakian, and Lithuanian heritage.
One that did stand out before he found fame, though, was his interest in food and its process. So, after he graduated from Evergreen Valley High School, he headed to Mission College in Santa Clara, California. There, he studied nutrition, intending to become a dietician but life had a different plan.
While he was a 17-year-old with limited cash, he learned about a local lobster roll eating contest in Hampton Beach, New Hampshire. Sensing the opportunity for free food, he entered the competition and came out $1,000 richer with his first victory as a competitive eater.
That small moment sparked a passion inside Matt Stonie. It thus began a journey that has led to multiple world records, medals, and international fame.
He Found Fame After Defeating A National Champion
His first victory may have come via luck and an innate ability to suppress his gag reflex. But after developing a passion for the sport, Matt Stonie began training and routinely entered different eating competitions. Less than a year after his victory, he made his debut in Major League Eating at the Stockton Deep Fried Asparagus Championship.
At the competition, he was the youngest member of the league. Still, it did not prevent him from swallowing his older and more experienced competitors. The most significant came in 2015 when he defeated Joey Chestnut, the 8-time defending champion in Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest. He ate 62 hot dogs while Joey ate 60.
Although the victory was short (Joey reclaimed the title the following year), it put Matt Stonie on the national stage. Since then, he has ranked consistently among the top five eaters in Major League Eating and set multiple records, pushing the sport to a higher level.
He Has Set More Than 24 Competitive Eating Records
To millions of Matt Stonie fans, he is the Megatoad, a nickname referencing his rapid eating skills. The nickname is not just an appreciation for his charming personality, but also the multiple of records he has set since 2013. Before his victory over Joey Chestnut made him a national star, he had set seven records.
He set his first record on May 26, 2013, finishing 5.5 pounds of birthday cake in nine minutes. Later in the year, he ate 10.5 pounds of Yogurtland Frozen Yogurt in six minutes and 7.5 pounds of Kookamonga burger in four minutes 43 seconds. In 2014, he set the record for the fastest McDonald’s Happy Meal ever eaten in 15:22 seconds. He also consumed 32.5 Indian tacos in eight minutes in the same year.
In the year he became a national star, he set six new records, including eating 71 Smithfield Pork Ribs in five minutes. Since he began his competitive eating career, he has created an additional eleven records, bringing his total as of August 2020, to 24.
Matt Stonie Also Has A Successful YouTube Channel
For competitive eaters like Stonie, finishing a meal in record time is just one part of the game. Completing food-based challenges is one other aspect of it, and he has made a successful digital personality career out of it. Two years after he won his first competition, he created his YouTube channel, MegatoadStonie.
There, he films himself completing different challenges set by himself or his subscribers, who, as of August 2020, are more than 12.3 million. His videos, which so far are more than 390, have more than 2.3 billion views. They have also attracted celebrities like Cheech & Chong, Waka Flocka Flame, and Bam Margera.
This makes him one of the most popular and followed speed eaters in the world. It also makes him a significant amount of money, at least up to $163k per month and $2 million per year. His overall net worth, based on several online reports, is $5 million.
Beyond The Avid Eating Personality
Matt Stonie’s competitive eating career may be the thing that puts his name on the minds of millions, but it is not the only thing worth learning about him. For instance, Matt has a brother, Morgan, who does not share his freakish eating ability but helps him manage his YouTube channel.
Avid Eater With Little Taxation On Groceries
Because training involves conditioning his stomach to accept a lot of food, Matt eats a lot. As a result, a great deal of his expenses goes to groceries. But he gets to write them off as work expenses.
By doing so, he does not get to pay so much tax on his groceries, which would have been excruciating. It is one of the perks that come with being a professional competitive eater.
Matt Stonie Has No Favourite Meal
Stonie has said many times that he does not have a favorite food. He eats and trains depending on the demands of his next competition. It is a fact that might come as a surprise or no surprise, considering the diversity of meals he eats in a year.
He Is A Philanthropist
His speed eating skills endeared him to millions of people, as shown by his YouTube stats, but his philanthropic nature has also brought him a lot of fans. Matt often donates to charity, particularly those focused on feeding others. Having found his niche while searching for free food, the YouTuber recognizes the importance of having a meal to eat. In turn, he financially supports those who help others with their daily meals.