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Student Pays Bills With Competitive Eating

Wisconsin computer major finds an odd way to cover tuition
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Sep 21, 2013 10:39 AM CDT
Student Pays Schools Bills With Competitive Eating
Eric Dahl, a University of Wisconsin computer engineering student with a nickname of "Silo," fills up on a 13-pound bowl of Vietnamese noodles known as pho.   (Aramis Phillip Alvarez)

(Newser) – A University of Wisconsin student with a nickname of "Silo" is eating his way through school—competitively. Computer engineering student Eric Dahl now ranks third in the world of competitive eating as determined by All Pro Eating rankings, though he once held the top spot. Dahl has earned more than $18,000 in prize money or merchandise to help pay for his education. "I'm eating for my education," he says. "It helps me get through."

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The 6-foot-3 Dahl said he walks a few miles a day, lifts weights twice a week, and plays intramural soccer and hockey to maintain his 220-pound weight. The State Journal reports that he eats no more than 3,100 calories a day, mostly vegetables to avoid increasing his waistline, and stretches his stomach by eating 10 pounds of cabbage or broccoli in a single sitting followed by a lot of water. "I really get pumped when the crowd starts cheering," he says. "I'm friends with other competitive eaters, but once I'm on stage I don't have any friends." (Read more competitive eating stories.)

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