As the crowd counted down the final seconds of Flancer's 10th annual charity pizza-eating contest Sunday, Chiun "Jimmy" Peng had to have figured he won. The defending champion consumed 17 extra-large slices -- the equivalent of more than two 18-inch pizzas -- in just 15 minutes, making his 2009 record of 13 slices seem like a mere snack.
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But the Scottsdale resident came up a slice short Sunday as Thomas Gilbert, a newcomer to the contest from Las Vegas, polished off a whopping 18 slices to out-distance the other 20 competitors on the Gilbert restaurant's patio. Gilbert won $500.
Chad Church of Gilbert finished third with 11 slices, followed by Craig Davis of Gilbert with 10.
This year's field also included an 11-year-old, A.J. Hengston of Gilbert, as well as the first female competitors in several years, Paige Burlew and Bridgette Nez of Mesa.
The pizza-eating contest capped a week of Flancer's fund-raising events for the Wounded Warrior Project, which runs sports programs for wounded U.S. soldiers. The restaurant raised more than $20,000.