New tater tot eating champion crowned at Bar Louie

Sam Smale filled his mouth with as many tater tots as he could when Big Momma, local radio talent from B103.9, announced there were only 15 second remaining in the six minutes competition. Smale is the reigning champion from the original Rock the Tot. Smale came in second this year, eating 2 pounds 8 and one-half ounces.

STEVE SARABIA - Special to The Banner

Sam Smale filled his mouth with as many tater tots as he could when Big Momma, local radio talent from B103.9, announced there were only 15 second remaining in the six minutes competition. Smale is the reigning champion from the original Rock the Tot. Smale came in second this year, eating 2 pounds 8 and one-half ounces.

— The second annual Rock the Tot held at Bar Louie in Gulf Coast Town Center brought in 32 contestants to participate in a tater tot eating competition. The competitive eaters were challenged to eat as many tater tots as they could during the six minutes allowed. While most contestants chose ketchup, they were all give choices of dipping sauces along with glasses of water.

Last years winner was Sam Smale, a Florida Gulf Coast University environmental engineering student who devoured 2 pounds, 8 ounces of tots in the allowed 6 minutes. Smale claimed that he was not as prepared for the competition this year as he thought tonight’s event was scheduled for next week. He managed a respectable second place.

With her competitive nature, local tri-athlete, and crowd favorite Angel King had prepared for the event. According to Bar Louie’s general Manager, Sarah Seller, King has been coming into the establishment three times a week for six weeks to prepare for the event. King self admittedly said that when she would come in and eat, she would finish off 2 pounds of tots and a burger in one sitting. When King heard of Rock the Tot she began timing herself and felt she stood a chance. Maybe it was her method of dunking the tots in water, or she just had an off night, King consumed 1 pound, 9 ounces.

This year’s Rock the Tot winner weighed in at 187, small in comparison to some of the heavy weights, but had a large appetite. Michael Sarabia, from Naples, managed to eat 2 pounds, 10 and 3/4 ounces in the allotted six minutes. Sarabia said he might have been able to finish the three pounds given to him if local radio talent Big Momma had not have made him laugh. Big Momma, from B103.9 emceed the event.

Sarabia, a recently enlisted member of the United States Air Force, almost didn’t enter Rock the Tot as he must maintain his weight. Sarabia won a $250 gift car for Bar Louie, a party for up to 20 guests and free tots for a year.

With 32 participants and a few hundred in the crowd, and the second annual Rock the Tot being such a success, Bar Louie hopes the third will be larger and will continue to grow each year.

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