LITTLE ROCK (AP) – A Long Island man won the grilled cheese-eating championship at the Arkansas State Fair on Saturday, stuffing down 19 sandwiches in the 10-minute race.

For his big appetite and swallowing skills, Ed “Cookie” Jarvis, of Nesconset, N.Y., won $1,000. He will join other first-place winners in competing for the world championship title at a time and place yet to be determined.

Patrick Philbin of Moonachie, N.J., came in second, scarfing down a sandwich-and-a-half less than champion Jarvis. But third place was too close to call. Two contestants consumed 10 grilled cheeses in the 10 minutes allowed, and the judges had to call for a one-minute runoff. With 1½ sandwiches in his belly, Michael Finnell, of Sherwood, Ark., was declared the third-place winner.

All of the six contestants finished without getting sick, said Michael Castellano of the International Federation of Competitive Eating.

Little Rock was the 11th city on the 15-city circuit of the World Grilled Cheese-Eating Championship., an online casino, and the federation are sponsoring the event.

AP-ES-10-08-05 1903EDT

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