Wisconsin Man Eats 25,000th Big MacBy Todd • May 20th, 2011 • Category: Burger Blog
Say what you want about your carnivorous habit and how deep your burger love runs. Fact is, Don Gorske mops up the floor with you when it comes to pure passion for the patty. Since 1972, the Wisconsin man has eaten a burger nearly every single day (missing only eight days), and often more than one per day. But here’s the thing: they were all Big Macs.
That AP photo shows him tucking into Number 25,000 in a jam-packed ceremony at his local Mickey D’s in Fond du Lac on May 17. Let that sink in for a second. Twenty. Five. THOUSAND. Big Macs. (Funny, I still regret the one I’ve ever eaten.)
Gorske ate his first Big Mac exactly 39 years prior, at 18, on the day he got his first car. He polished off eight more that day, and an obsession was born. He didn’t have one on the day his mother died, to honor her last request. And there have been a couple of holidays and other occasions when he was traveling and (gasp) couldn’t find a McDonald’s. But the last day he didn’t have one? Thanksgiving 2000. Gorske now buys Big Macs in bulk (six every Monday and eight each Thursday), and stores them in his freezer as an “emergency stash.” When he travels, he packs two in his suitcase, just in case.
“It’s the best thing I ever ate in my life,” he says. Yeah, and just about the only thing. He’s estimated that 90 percent of his solid food consumption is Big Macs. He rarely touches French fries, and claims to drink nothing besides Coca-Cola. “Nothing has changed in 39 years,” he said. “I look forward to it every day. I plan on eating Big Macs until I die.”
It may be a while before that happens. Despite a diet that would harden the arteries of even the most die-hard hamburglar, Don Gorske (who appeared in Super Size Me) is practically the picture of good health. At 57 years old, 6-foot-2, and about 185 pounds, he’s without question a skinny dude. And a recent doctor’s visit revealed an amazingly low cholesterol level of 156 mg/dL (208 is considered “good” for a man his age).
The obsessive-compulsive disorder that Gorske has lived with since childhood manifests itself in lots of ways. There’s he calendar he keeps with his daily Mac count penciled in. There’s his habit of saving each and every receipt from each and every Big Mac… at least since the chain began issuing receipts in 1994. And there’s the box collection. He started out keeping the cartons from his Macs in his car. When the trunk wouldn’t hold them all, they moved into the house. When a tornado damaged his home in 1990 and tore through the carton collection, he was devastated. “I thought, ‘I might as well get rid of them.’ I burned, like, 7,000 cartons over at my brother-in-law’s farm.” But then he started a new collection, which he showed off to reporters and onlookers at the May 17 ceremony. (Gorske even pared down his Mac habit to just one a day over recent weeks so he would hit 25k on the 39-year-anniversary- to the hour- of his first Big Mac.)
With the cameras rolling, Don Gorske chowed down on his 25,000th Big Mac. And, as always, he finished it in exactly sixteen bites. Want to see some video of the big event? Check out this one from AP or this one at eater.com.