Londoner Mike Jack Wins Guinness World Records
Hot Pepper Eating ChampionJessica Singer
For two-time Guinness World Record champion Mike Jack, trying to eat the world’s hottest pepper in record speed is like running a marathon.
It takes time, endurance, and a whole lot of practice.
Jack recently earned the world record for the most Bhut Jolokia chilli peppers eaten in one minute, consuming 10 ghost peppers (97 grams). He made the attempt during the Heatwave Hot Sauce Expo on Mar. 2 at Centennial Hall.
He also won the record for the fastest time to eat three Bhut Jolokia Chilis, consuming a trio of one of the world’s hottest ghost peppers in 9.75 seconds on Jan. 26, 2019.
The two record attempts were confirmed by Guinness World Records on Monday.
Jack explained how eating peppers is a lot like running a marathon. You have to practice, and persevere. When you see what you’ve accomplished, you can push yourself a little further.
“When I started eating peppers, I never thought I would win a Guinness World Record,” said the hot pepper eating champion.
“But I think eating peppers is a lot like running; if you’ve never run before and then you run your first 5K, you’re going to be really sore and hurting…But then you start running more, and you can do a 10K marathon,” explained Jack.
Jack has been speed eating the world’s spiciest peppers for a couple years now, making attempts before crowds at charity events, and hot sauce expos he's organized across the city.
But trying to bear the pain of consuming ghost peppers wasn’t a natural talent of his.
At first, he couldn’t eat small Jalapeño peppers.
“When I was a kid, my family wasn’t into spicy stuff at all,” admitted Jack.
“But when I went to college, my roommates and I would order a pizza, and they dared me to put hot sauce on it, and I started liking it…Frank’s or Sriracha wouldn’t be hot anymore, so I started searching for hotter sauces.”
After building a tolerance for hot sauce, Jack decided to up the ante and challenge himself with ghost peppers.
Soon enough, he was able to eat the current world record holder for the hottest pepper, the Carolina Reaper.
He even ate 56 of the fiery peppers in one sitting.
“When you bite into a hot pepper it gets hot in your mouth…And then your body thinks it’s kind of on fire, so it does whatever it can to numb the pain and cool yourself off,” explained Jack.
“So, you’re going to start sweating, you’re going to drool, you’re going to get snot coming out of your nose.”
The pepper-eating champion records his attempts, and documents them on his YouTube channel, ‘Hot Reviews.’
Jack initially used YouTube to post videos of himself reviewing different kinds of hot sauces. But he realized viewers loved watching him down spicy peppers in record speed.
“Viewers were more into the spicy stuff,” explained Jack.
“Once I cut open one of the world’s hottest peppers, the Carolina Reaper, and just dabbed it on my eyeball.”
After winning Guinness World Records, eating 56 Carolina Reaper peppers, and even squirting one in his eye, the marathon isn’t over yet.
Jack is determined to win the record for the most ghost peppers eaten in two minutes, a goal he’s sure he’ll beat at an upcoming hot sauce expo in Feb. 2020.