“If you voluntarily or involuntarily vomit, please use the trash cans next to you instead of the table.”
The emcee was giving final instructions to the four teams of four who stood on the dance floor of The Woods, better known as New Bar. The place was brightly lit, a strange sight for those who only see the bar late at night, but music was still blaring.
Each team stood around a table with four red solo cups filled with the players’ drink of choice — either water or milk — and two plates piled high with mini doughnuts. One plate held 10 plain doughnuts and the other held 10 powdered sugar doughnuts.
The goal was simple: finish all 20 as fast as possible.
Opposite them stood a table with several white boxes filled with the mini doughnuts, courtesy of the? Oxford Doughnut Shoppe. Next to that was the sign-in table with a Miami Business Enterprises banner hanging down the front.
Miami Business Enterprises (MBE) is a campus organization that works with local businesses to create marketing platforms. The group hosted its first doughnut-eating contest last spring. The event’s success has made it a new MBE tradition.
In addition to allowing students to be directly involved in helping market Oxford Doughnut Shoppe, this event raised $340 for Luna Cares, a local nonprofit organization that helps support women with cancer.
The emcee’s countdown echoed through the bar.
“3…” Contestants stood with their hands hovering over the plates.
“2…” Their eyes darted back and forth between the emcee and the doughnuts.
The digital stopwatch projected on the wall began counting up from zero. The contestants started shoving doughnuts into their mouths.
Only one team member was allowed to be eating at a time, and they had to open their mouth and stick out their tongue to show the judge that they were done before the next member could begin eating. They were only allowed one cup of water or milk — no refills.
Spectators crowded around the tables cheering as though this were a sporting event. Future competitors analyzed the teams’ strategies.
The stakes were pretty high after all.
Third place would receive a free doughnut-catered event. Second place would win a basket of Oxford Doughnut Shoppe merchandise. First place would win a semester of free doughnuts, in addition to being crowned the Sir Doughnalot Challenge champions.
The first round ended as one team finished in under eight minutes and another in just under nine. The other two teams shook their heads and admitted defeat, a handful of doughnuts remaining untouched on their plates.
After the puddles of spilled drinks and piles of soaked crumbs were wiped off the tables, fresh plates of doughnuts and cups of water were replaced and the next round was set to begin.
There were four rounds total, with 14 teams competing for the prizes.
The strategies varied. Some people ate the doughnuts like anyone would, just faster, and washing mouthfuls down with water. Others flattened the doughnuts with their palms in attempts to make them smaller. Others dunked their doughnuts in their cups to make them softer and easier to chew.
Soggy doughnut crumbs and clumps of powdered sugar were caked onto fingers. Tabletops were wet with water spilled in haste.
In the end, no one could beat the Team of Destiny’s time of 7 minutes and 50 seconds from the first round.