There’s Midway Magic, and then there’s Midway Magic with maple-glaze topping or dusted with powdered sugar or even cream-cheese frosting with colorful sprinkles.

World Records are always made to be broken, and at the annual World Donut Eating Championship on the USS Midway Museum’s flight deck this summer, a new global mark in donut consumption was achieved.

Professional competitive eater James Webb ingested a chart topping 59 ½ donuts in just eight minutes taking down former world record holder, the renowned Joey Chestnut of the annual Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog Eating contest, who scarfed down 55 donuts back in 2017.

Australian James Webb set a new world’s recording by inhaling 59 ½ donuts in only eight minutes.

While this gut-gorging event may not sit well for folks with queasy stomachs, this gastronomical dough-boy fest supports the important cause of raising much needed funds for the Southern California Salvation Army.

“More than $40,000 was raised this year, nearly twice as much as last year and the most we’ve ever raised for a donut day contest,” said Jake Minger, the communications manager for San Diego regional office of the Salvation Army’s Southern California Division. “The funds raised will go towards homeless service for veterans, job training, and drug and alcohol recovery programs at our adult rehabilitation centers.”

This annual National Donut Day event brings to San Diego some of the nation’s top competitive eaters, including Miki Sudo, the world’s top-ranked female competitive eater, and the fourth overall ranking major-league eater, Nick Wehry. For the up-and-coming James Webb, winning the contest in record-setting fashion is a feather in his donut-devouring hat.

“I was born with a fat head and a good appetite, and now I’m just putting them both to good use,” said the fun-loving James. “I have the biggest, sweet tooth, so I really enjoyed this one. To be honest, I just want to brush my teeth.”

As this yearly fund-raising event supports programs for veterans, Midway was the best choice for the Salvation Army for the contest.

“The Midway is the perfect location for our National Donut Day event,” said Jake. “It allows us to honor veterans, who have proudly served our country and our competitors and guests get to see first-hand the amazing one-of-a-kind floating museum on beautiful San Diego Bay. We could not host this type of event anywhere else and still have the same impact.”

“This is unbelievable,” said James, a 34-year-old Australian. “I’ve never been on a naval warship before and never touched
a fighter jet. And I’ve also never eaten this many donuts. This was a good day at the office. Obviously, we’re here for a good
reason, there’s always a higher cause, so I’m glad we could raise money.”

With a new world record in the books, the Salvation Army is aiming even higher for the competition in 2024.

“Next year we hope to have Joey Chestnut return to take on James Webb,” said Jake. “It would be great to have Fox Sports or ESPN broadcast the event live.”

“I respect Joey,” said James, who is currently the number 10-ranked professional eater in the United States. “He’s top tier. I just like to be next to him and compete against him. That’s enough for me. See you again next year.”

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