In true Texas spirit, Midwesterner R. J. “Bob” Lee decided to create, in 1960, a place that would satisfy the world’s hunger for good steaks and the ambiance of the Old West. Built in Amarillo originally on Route 66 and now located along Interstate 40, the Big Texan Steak Ranch and its world famous ‘FREE 72-oz. steak’ offer draws throngs of hungry and curious eaters alike.
In order to qualify for the free steak, one must polish off a shrimp cocktail, baked potato, salad, roll with butter, and of course the 72 oz. steak, all within one hour. The contestants must all sit at a table designated by the restaurant; more often that not, it is at a table on a raised platform so that all the restaurant patrons can observe.
It's a $72 gamble that many have taken and failed. The name of the last contestant added to the 72 oz. Hall of Fame is Ian Garrison of Albuquerque, NM, who completed the meal on May 29, 2017.