Sonya Thomas is a competitive eater known for holding many competitive-eating records in her name. She made her debut in 2003 winning the Rookie of the Year award of IFOCE (International Federation of Competitive Eating). Thomas soon grew up to the top ranks with her amazing ability and soon made her name among the elites of the competitive-eating field. Check out more details about Sonya Thomas such as her personal and professional life, interesting facts, etc in this article.
Sonya Thomas Personal Life
The table below provides some basic personal information about Sonya Thomas. No details about her parents or family are known.
|Full name||Sonya Thomas|
|Birth name||Lee Sun-kyung|
|Nicknames||The Black Widow The Leader of the Four Horsemen of the Esophagus|
|Date of birth||July 26, 1967|
|Place of birth||Kunsan, South Korea|
|Place of residence||Alexandria, Virginia, US|
|Net worth (as of 2023)||$1 million (est.)|
Competitive Eating Competitions & Challenges
Thomas joined the International Federation of Competitive Eating in 2003 and earned her first major victory just one year later at a competition in the 2004 Wing Bowl. With this victory, she became the first woman to ever win a Wing Bowl. In Nathan’s Hot Dog contest in the same year, she ate 32 hot dogs and created the record for the maximum number of hot dogs ever eaten by a male or female American competitor at the time. In 2006, Sonya won her Asian debut competition in Hong Kong by eating 17 Chinese-style lotus seed buns in 12 minutes. He set another world record with this.
From 2007 to 2011, Sonya came first in every chicken wing eating championship held by the National Buffalo Wing Festival US. In 2011, she also won the United States Chicken Wing Eating Championship in Buffalo, New York. In the competition, she ate 183 chicken wings in 12 minutes. Earlier the same year, Thomas won the inaugural Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest for Women championship. She came first after eating 40 hot dogs in 10 minutes and won $10,000 and the inaugural Pink Belt.
After winning for five consecutive years at the National Buffalo Wing Festival, Thomas lost to Joey Chestnut in 2012. He ate 191 chicken wings in 12 minutes to win the competition. At another Buffalo Wing Festival in Buffalo, New York, she lost first place to Eric Booker in a chicken wing contest. Sonya lost another waffle-eating contest in Atlanta again to Joey Chestnut. Chestnut also defeated Thomas at a contest at the Krystal Square Off in Chattanooga where she came in third.
Sonya Thomas’ Training Routine & Eating Habits
Check out the diet and training routine of Sonya Thomas that helps with her competitive eating stamina.
- Thomas walks on an inclined treadmill for two hours, five times in a week.
- She visits all-you-can-eat buffets at restaurants regularly to maintain her habit.
- She never practices speed eating for more than two minutes.
- Sonya fasts all night before a contest to put an edge on her appetite.
- She only eats one very large meal a day and takes her sweet time to finish it.
- Her meal includes green vegetables and fresh fruit.
Contest Results and Records
Hot Dog Contest Results
Thomas has appeared in the Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest since 2003 and appeared among the top eaters. She used to come first place in women when the competition was held for men and women combined. After the competition was separated for men and women, Thomas always ranked among the top three contenders.
|Year||No. of hot dogs||Rank|
Buffalo Wing Contest Results
Thomas has won the Buffalo Wing Contest a total of 7 times, once consecutive for two years (2003 & 2004) and then again five years consecutively (2007 to 2011).
|Year||No. of buffalo wings||Rank|
Eating Records held by Sonya Thomas
Here are the eating records held by Sonya Thomas in terms of number:
- 1.125 Gallons of Chili in 6 minutes
- 4 pounds, 141⁄4 ounces of Wegman’s Fruitcake in 10 minutes
- 5.75 pounds of tempura deep-fried asparagus spears in 10 minutes
- 6 extra large Bocce pizza slices in 15 minutes
- 7 3⁄4 pound Thickburgers in 10 minutes
- 7.75 pounds Turducken.com Thanksgiving Dinner in 12 minutes
- 9 pounds of crawfish jambalaya in 10 minutes
- 11 pounds of Downtown Atlantic cheesecake in 9 minutes
- 23 pulled pork sandwiches in 10 minutes
- 38 moon pies in 8 minutes
- 43 soft tacos in 11 minutes
- 44 lobsters totaling 11.3 pounds of lobster meat in 12 minutes
- 46 dozen Acme Oysters in 10 minutes
- 46 three-ounce crab cakes in 10 minutes
- 65 hard-boiled eggs in 6 minutes and 40 seconds
- 80 chicken nuggets in 5 minutes
- 183 chicken wings in 12 minutes
- 206 gyoza in 10 minutes
- 250 tater tots in 5 minutes
- Sonya Thomas is one of the top-ranked eaters in the International Federation of Competitive Eating (Major Eating League).
- After all her contests, Sonya claimed to have had significant stomach capacity left.
- She out-ate professional football player Randy Thomas, well-known for his appetite. She consumed 6.5 pounds of shrimp in 10 minutes compared to Randy’s 1.5 pounds.
- Her favorite foods at competitions include chicken wings, oysters, and hard-boiled eggs.
- She has been featured in a MasterCard Paypass commercial along with fellow competitor Takeru Kobayashi.
- Thomas participated in multiple events and earned more than $50,000 in prize money in 2005.
- Her dream was to own a fast-food franchise one day.
- She wanted to compete in Japanese eating contests but they last longer than she prefers.
- Sonya holds records in more than 25 eating competitions.
- She is nicknamed “The Black Widow” owing to her ability to defeat men who were four to five times her size.
Frequently Asked Questions
Sonya Thomas is a competitive eater from Virginia known for holding multiple records in this arena.
Her actual weight is hard to determine but it generally lies between 98 to 105 lbs.
Because she follows an extensive exercise and training routine and eats healthy outside of the competitions.