In the early 1980s, a man named Donald Gorske ate his first McDonald’s hamburger. It was love at first bite. For the next 30 years, he ate at McDonald’s an average of 14 times per week, consuming at least one Big Mac every day. In fact, he’s only missed eight days of McDonald’s since 1984. Gorske’s diet is so unvaried that he can recite from memory the exact number of Big Macs he’s eaten: 28,788 as of April 2006.
Gorske claims that his diet has had no negative effect on his health. In fact, his cholesterol and blood pressure are both lower than average, and his only health complaint is that he sometimes has trouble sleeping. He attributes his good health to his genes and to the fact that he’s never smoked or consumed alcohol.
Gorske’s love affair with McDonald’s began on May 17, 1972, when he ate his first Big Mac. He was immediately hooked on the taste and the convenience of the restaurant. “I was working at a place that didn’t have any lunch options,” he recalls. “So I just said, ‘I’ll go to McDonald’s.’”
For the next decade, Gorske ate McDonald’s several times a week, but it wasn’t until 1984 that he made the decision to eat there every day. That year, he missed only two days due to a snowstorm and a power outage.
Gorske’s local McDonald’s restaurant in Fort Wayne, Indiana, knows him by name and is always ready to accommodate his Big Mac craving. They’ve even given him a key to the restaurant so he can let himself in after hours.
While some might find Gorske’s diet monotonous, he says he doesn’t mind eating the same thing every day. “I like the taste of McDonald’s,” he says. “It’s consistent.”
Over the years, Gorske has become something of a celebrity, appearing on TV shows such as The Tonight Show, Ripley’s Believe It or Not, and Good Morning America. He’s also been featured in a documentary called Super Size Me.
In 2004, Gorske made headlines when he ate his 25,000th Big Mac. To celebrate the occasion, McDonald’s presented him with a gold-plated replica of the sandwich.
Gorske says he has no plans to give up his McDonald’s habit anytime soon. “As long as they keep making them,” he says, “I’ll keep eating them.”