Sunday Fun Facts: How Did The Big Texan Come Up With 72 oz Steak?
I was recently playing Amarillo based trivia with some listeners and one asked me to explain the story behind The Big Texan, more specifically the 72 oz. steak.
I had no idea. The most I know about The Big Texan is that my parents stayed in the hotel there one night, and nine months later God punished the world for it by letting me loose.
After doing some digging I was surprised to find out that the 72 oz. steak has an actual legend behind it. I was shocked that it's more than just pure schtick to get people through the door.
According to legend, it was in 1960 that the challenge began. It all started when the founder, Bob Lee, decided to hold an eating contest for cowboys working in the stockyards.
The challenge didn't start out as 72 oz. It was simply to see who could eat the most steaks in an hour. The winner of this original challenge would be awarded a whole five dollars.
The winner of the contest reportedly ate four and a half pounds worth of steak. Four pounds comes out to roughly, you guessed it, 72 oz.
That wasn't all he polished off. Supposedly the cowboy also downed a shrimp cocktail, dinner roll, and salad along with the four and a half steaks all within the hour.
After crowning the winner, Bob Lee allegedly proclaimed that anyone who could eat that much again in his restaurant would eat for free. People have been lining up ever since.
Currently, the record holder is Molly Schuyler who finished her first meal in 4 minutes and 18 seconds.