Thirty seconds to go and Hoover takes even bigger bites, trying to work each pickle down his esophagus with sips of the red drink. Wrecking Ball crouches over the table, pounding pickles into his mouth sideways. He's behind, but he refuses to quit.
Antolini begins another countdown at the ten-second mark. At the end, he yells, "Put down those pickles, lady and gentlemen!" A three-judge team starts counting empty bowls and weighing what's left in the others. The competitors wait anxiously for the results, each breathing heavily as they chew their final bits of pickle.
Palm Beach Gardens resident Sean "Wrecking Ball" Brockert.
Sean "Wrecking Ball" Brockert, an Army veteran from Palm Beach Gardens, began his professional eating career in April with corn on the cob.
With four pounds, Hoover beat the old pickle record by a full pound, but that was good enough only for a three-way tie for third place. He gets $416.66 for his troubles.
The Black Widow and Notorious B-O-B tie for second place, each having eaten exactly five pounds, five ounces and each receiving a check for $1,125.
Deep Dish, his face and shirt stained red from his drink, is declared the winner. His total: five pounds, 11.2 ounces of pickles consumed, nearly twice the previous world record. He gets a small trophy, a check for $1,500, and his 28th world record.
Wrecking Ball comes in ninth with two and a half pounds. He shakes hands and poses for photos with the other competitors. When all the pictures are taken, Kim and the kids have a hug waiting for him at the top of the stairs. He's feeling a little down, but he also knows something that might make him feel better.
He looks at his family. "Anyone wanna try the buffet?"