Why A Pennsylvania Man Ate The World's Hottest Pepper — Twice

There comes a time in every person's life where they must not only push themselves to the limits not once, but twice, for reasons both spiritual and physical. Perhaps they seek what the state of Pennsylvania promises: "virtue, liberty, and independence." Whether it be climbing the highest mountain, saving the life of another fellow man, or just completing a personal milestone, these people know that there is no gain without pain. One man from the Keystone State may know this better than anyone. His great accomplishment involved eating the world's hottest pepper — twice.

Before we go any further, we must give some context. While the "Dragon's Breath" pepper may sound like any old pepper with a cool nickname, rest assured the folks who named this weren't kidding around. According to PepperScale, the Dragon's Breath pepper measures in at 2.48 million Scoville heat units, outranking the infamous Carolina Reaper's 1.4 million SHU. While everyone has their own comfort level of "heat" in their peppers, eating two (let alone one) of these bad boys isn't like eating jalapeno poppers or stuffed peppers. Eating certain kinds of ultra-hot peppers can make you hallucinate due to the extreme endorphin rush you get when you eat them (via Bon Appetit), so who knows what you'll be seeing should you eat a Dragon's Breath.

But why did this Pennsylvania man put everything on the line just to eat two of these scorching little devils?

He did it to keep his record alive

Every year, a contest is held at the farmer's market in Easton, Pennsylvania. The challenge demands a strong spirit, strong commitment, and most importantly, strong taste buds. It's the annual hot pepper-eating contest, where peppers of all different heats are served up to bold and willing participants. Mr. Kelly Joel Myers has won not only the 2022 contest, but also the 2021 event as well.

According to Lehigh Valley Live, Myers faced off against competitor Matthew Leto of New Jersey, eating increasingly spicier and hotter peppers until they reached the tiebreaker round. For this, the contestants would first be served two Carolina Reapers, then two Dragon's Breath peppers, and finally one Carolina Reaper and one Dragon's Breath. Although Leto gave a good fight, he couldn't handle the heat, leaving Myers standing alone and burning up on the stage as the victor. Although sweaty and weary, Food & Wine reports that Kelly graciously thanked his family, friends, and pepper growers as he held the glittering trophy above his head.

Myers doesn't seem to be a stranger to eating hot peppers — in fact, he seems to make it his livelihood. Myers has his own YouTube channel, "Hot Pepper Boi," in which he documents the many contests (and peppers) he's eaten over the years. While Myers has certainly earned his accomplishment, we suggest sticking to more common hot peppers like jalapenos unless you're either well-trained or open to intestinal peril.