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September 13, 2013

Not winning at Whoppers

Kaitlynd Lear can make a Whopper in 14 seconds. The 19-year-old Northwestern High School grad can sling tomatoes, onions, lettuce, mayo, ketchup and a hamburger patty in between two sesame seeds buns – which are bigger than her petite hands – at the Washington Street Burger King in, that’s right, 14 seconds. It’s a feat that may be simple, but its riches are not: Lear and her competitive digits are flying to Miami, Fla. to compete in the Whopper-making challenge, which could line her Dickies’ pants pockets with 10 grand; if she can “Have it her way” in the world of competitive Whopper building.

And that feat of a 14-second Whopper? Not as simple as you’d think. There’s a strategy to Whopper building, and Lear has polished it, perfected it and tucked it into a carefully-yet-quickly folded Burger King wrapper with a girl-next-door smile.

Lear, with barely there traces of makeup and a long-braided ponytail, sat across from me in a booth of her choosing as she told me the detailed events that go into a crafting the taste-bud tower that is the Whopper.

“There are a lot of rules to it,” she said as her tiny arms rested in her lap. “Do you want to know them?”

Of course I agreed, I was going to be racing to make a Whopper next to her moments from that point. So, I might as well get all her tips of the trade to wrap up a Whopper in 13 seconds. This thought I had was ridiculous, you’ll know why soon enough.

“K, first you start with the top. Then it’s mayo, lettuce, two tomatoes –but, they can’t touch or overlap. Then, the meat, four pickles – they can’t touch at all; then three rings of ketchup and then onions, which you use three of those. You know the Olympic sign? That’s how you’re supposed to place [the onions]. Then you wrap [the paper wrapper], fold it and tuck [the paper] under the burger,” Lear explained with modest confidence.

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