Miami man wins annual Stone Crab Eating Contest in Florida Keys

Juan Mallen victorious after 6 years of trying

MARATHON, Fla. – A Miami man took top honors Saturday at the annual Stone Crab Eating Contest in the Florida Keys.

Juan Mallen, a 49-year-old commercial appliance technician, cracked and ate 25 stone crab claws in 12 minutes and 54 seconds, beating the old record by more than two minutes.

Mallen had been trying to win the contest for six years, settling for runner-up each time.

"I've been trying and trying, and I finally got it together," Mallen said. "I actually cracked everything first, then I ate it real fast like I always did. So, put it together, and I think that's what did it."

Mallen's advice for future contestants -- crack the stone crabs faster than anybody else. He said the trick is to break the elbow.

Stone crab season runs from Oct. 15 to May 15.

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