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UW-Madison student competitively eats to pay for school

MADISON, WI (WTAQ) - A UW-Madison student is eating his way through school. 

Computer engineering student Eric Dahl is a professional eater -- almost up there with famous hot dog eating champion Joey Chestnut. Dahl ranks 3rd in the world rankings of All-Pro Eating. He used to be Number 1. 

Dahl, who's nickname is "Silo," said he became a competitive eater two years ago. He didn't want to pay for a meal at a Madison steakhouse, so he asked the restaurant to cover his bill if he could eat a three-pound cheese-steak sandwich in 10 minutes. He did it in 5 minutes and 50 seconds.  

Dahl's first pro competition was in Minneapolis, where he made $250 eating nine pulled pork sandwiches in 6 minutes. 

Dahl has made $18,000 in prize money, which goes to his schooling at the UW. He'll try to win another $1,000 Saturday, at a national pizza eating contest on the UW campus. 

He keeps his weight at 220 pounds by walking, lifting weights, and playing intramural soccer. Dahl limits his calories to 3,100 a day, and stretches his stomach by eating 10 pounds broccoli or cabbage with a lot of water to wash it down.