When in Romaine, do as competitive eater Mary Bowers


At 5’3” tall on the outside and 6’12” on the inside, Mary Bowers may be best known as Player #78 in Squid Game: The Challenge, but she is also one of Major League Eating’s most recognizable personalities. If variety is the spice of life, hers is a life filled with flavor.

With Korean origins and an American heart, Mary is dedicated to creating global connections. Ranked among the world’s top 50 athletes in her sport since 2012, she’s now the #1 eater in South Korea. In 2023, she became the first to represent her birth country at the Nathan’s Famous International Hotdog Eating Contest.

In addition to her athletic accomplishments, Mary has entertained audiences through television, radio, and printed publications around the globe – including ESPN, ABC, NBC Sports, BBC Radio, RTL, and Marie Claire Australia.

Her heart is as big as her appetite. A dedicated champion for human rights, Mary’s essays on the status of transnational adoptees have been included in briefings to the United Nations Committee on Enforced Disappearances and the National Assembly of Korea. She has been recognized by the U.S. House of Representatives, State Senate of California, and the City of Los Angeles for her efforts in nutrition education and hunger relief.

Fun Facts about Mary!
  • Began eating at the age of 0; excelled in the subjects of mac & cheese, spaghetti, and cake as a child.
  • Performed on stage for the first time at age 3, playing the part of “Baby Filling”, sidekick to dental hygiene superhero “Mama Molar” in the church talent show.
  • Toured the U.S as a show choir singer beginning at the age of 14. Retired from non-karaoke public singing at age 17.
  • Holds a Bachelor of Architecture degree from the NewSchool of Architecture & Design in San Diego, California.
  • Managed $6.1 billion in U.S. Ports of Entry construction for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Now, she travels between airports and border crossings she helped to build.
  • Hobbies include playing with glitter, playing dress-up, decorating, and chasing rainbows.