split image of Don Gorske at Mcdonalds and holding two big macs

After consuming 728 more Big Macs throughout 2023, Donald Gorske has extended his world record for the most Big Mac® burgers eaten in a lifetime.

Don’s record now stands at a total of 34,128 Big Macs.

The 70-year-old retired prison officer from Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, USA, ate his first Big Mac almost 52 years ago, on 17 May 1972.

“In that moment, I said: ‘I’m going to probably eat these for the rest of my life.’ I threw the cartons in the back seat and started counting them from day one,” Don recalls.

He has kept track of every single Big Mac he’s eaten since that day and still has all the containers and receipts.

Don standing next to a glass case of Big Mac boxes

Don was awarded his Guinness World Records title in 1999, though he’d been making the news for many years before that, since 1986, the same year that he began his job at a maximum security prison in Wisconsin.

Despite turning down most interview requests due to the “relentless” verbal abuse he’d receive if the inmates saw him on TV, it wasn’t long before the entire prison knew about his unique diet.

If I had a dollar for every time I was told where to stick my Big Macs, I could have retired 10 years sooner.

Don’s fellow guards, on the other hand, were very supportive of his record, and on days when he was stuck working double shifts, they would sneak in Big Macs for him.

Old photo of Don Gorske holding McDonalds merch

Don holding a tray in Mcdonalds

When he first began eating Big Macs, Don would have up to nine per day. Nowadays, he usually eats two: one for lunch and one for dinner.

He used to drive to McDonald’s every day, but since retiring, he buys them twice per week in batches. He eats a fresh one at the restaurant when he picks up his order, then takes the rest home to microwave when he’s hungry.

Besides Big Macs, Don doesn’t eat much else. He skips breakfast, and the only other food he eats is a small evening snack such as ice cream, a fruit bar, or potato chips.

His favourite food other than Big Macs used to be lobster, but Don says the last time he ate it was over 28 years ago.

Out of respect to my mother, from 1973 to 1981 I ate one non-Big Mac meal a day because she was worried about my health. On 1 April 1981 she let me relinquish that promise when she said: ‘If they haven’t killed you by now, go ahead.’

Don tried a Burger King Whopper once in 1984, but it was unable to sway his allegiance from the Big Mac. 

“When I like something, I stick with it all the time,” he said.

Despite having eaten over 34,000 Big Macs, Don says he hasn’t had any health issues.

To maintain his physique, he forgoes the french fries with his burgers, and he walks six miles every day.

Don standing in front of Mcdonalds sign

Don is well known at his local McDonald’s – he even has his portrait hung on the wall.

In fact, Don’s love for McDonald’s runs so deep that he proposed to his wife, Mary, in the parking lot.

“She has put up with a lot of obsessive compulsive things I do and hasn’t let my Big Mac thing get to her,” Don said.

Don Gorske holding 2 big macs

After over half a century of eating Big Macs, Don still enjoys them just as much as he did when he first started.

“People who have watched me eating a Big Mac often comment that I look like I’m eating one for the very first time,” he said.

“Many people thought I’d be dead by now but instead I’ve been a record holder for my 24th year – one of Guinness World Records’ longer-running record holders, so that’s pretty cool to me.”

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