Four Olive Hill residents entered The Drive-In’s first annual Big T eating contest to compete for the first championship belt.

The competitors, Ivy Spence, Chad Smith, Kerrington Jarvis and Harley Collins, had 35 minutes to eat the most Big T burgers without quitting or throwing up.

“Not only do they get the best burgers and the best fries and the best service experience, but it’s fun. Everything we do is to try to provide that experience,” said Todd Antrobus, owner of The Drive-In.

A Big T is The Drive-In’s signature burger made of two buns and three patties with cheese in between each. The eating contest branched off from a few customers challenging each other to eat more patties, but it was the first official contest held at The Drive-In.

“The customers started it up and they started wondering how many patties they could eat on a Big T. One guy ate four and three guys had five then some guy said ‘Hey, give me 10,’ and now, someone has actually eaten 21 patties on a Big T,” said Antrobus.

The contest was nearly tied between Chad Smith and Ivy Spence until the end of the 35 minutes, but as Antrobus said, “What goes in must come out,” and Smith was forced to forfeit.

Spence, an employee at The Drive-In, is a New York native who moved to Kentucky 11 years ago.

“I told them if there wasn’t enough people to sign up, I would love to, if they’d let me,” said Spence.

Spence has been an employee for about one month and although she hadn’t planned on staying at The Drive-In when she applied, the food and community around the restaurant convinced her to stay.

“I come home from work and I’m like ‘I love my job. I could work there all day,’” said Spence.

While the Big T Contest won’t be taking entrants for another year, The Drive-In is planning to start a cheeseburger festival in Olive Hill. Details are not yet known.

Daneyl Tackett can be reached at dtackett@journal-times.com or by telephone at 784-4116

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