Don Gorske ate his first Big Mac in 1972 at a McDonald’s in Fond Du Lac, Wisconsin and returned there on Friday to eat his 30,000 Big Mac, breaking his own world record. Gorske says that when he ate that first Big Mac, there was only one McDonald’s in town, and he had just gotten his drivers’ license. Since then, 64-year-old Don has missed eating one of the sandwiches only eight times. The first time, he drove to McDonald’s during a snowstorm and discovered it was closed. Another day he missed was the day his mother died. Before her death, she asked Gorske to skip eating a Big Mac on the day she died, in remembrance of her.
The former prison guard has obsessive-compulsive disorder and a very detailed memory, which has helped him keep track of all the details and records that prove his Big Mac habit. USA Today reports that he has thousands of receipts, sandwich wrappers, and containers. When a tornado tore the soffits from his home on June 2, 1990, Don says he lost about 700 Styrofoam containers. Gorske has calculated that it took him 356 days to eat his first 1,000 Big Macs. On the day that McDonald’s founder Ray Kroc died in 1984, Don ate Big Mac number 5,978. Among the other Big Mac-related facts he knows is the date that McDonald’s switched from lettuce leaves to shredded lettuce – February 10, 1999.
Don Gorske is tall and thin with a graying ponytail. He says he is often asked about the effects of all those Big Macs on his health. In 2003, Ellen DeGeneres asked him to get his cholesterol checked, and it was 140. In 2006, he crossed the finish line of the San Diego marathon with his 21,387th Big Mac in hand. At Don’s last checkup both his cholesterol and blood pressure were just fine.
Gorske has appeared in numerous television shows including Rachel Ray Show, Oprah, Jimmy Kimmel Live, Inside Edition, and Lopez Tonight. He also appeared in the movie Supersize Me.
A crowd gathered to see Don Gorske eat his 30,000th Big Mac on Friday. He gave them a half-hour presentation before taking that record-breaking bite into two all-beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, and onions on a sesame seed bun.