Back in September, Olive Garden rolled out its Neverending Pasta Pass promotion. By now, you know that each of the 1,000 NPP holders paid $100 to access all the pasta, salad, soup, and breadsticks they could eat until November 9th.

olive garden alan martin 3

Burlington, NC minister Alan Martin saw that $100 pass as extremely valuable—so he vowed to eat at Olive Garden twice a day, every day to get as much value out of the pass as possible.

Toward the end of his quest, several local news stations interviewed Martin. He was still going strong, and seemed enthusiastic.

Martin told WGHP,

“I would love to be the person that ate the most out of the thousand people. You know, that’d be a good contest to win…because that means I got the most value out of the card than anybody did in the United States.”

olive garden alan martin 4

Martin knows exactly how many meals he ate, and he can show anyone interested in knowing. Why? He saved all his receipts.

Salon caught up with Martin shortly after the promotion ended to find out how he did at achieving his goal. He managed to eat 115 meals over the 7 weeks of the promotion, adding up to a total value of $1,840.

olive garden alan martin 1

When WGHP interviewed Martin before the promotion had ended, he said that he hadn’t gained any weight.

But Salon found something even more amazing in the post-game interview: Martin actually managed to lose four pounds eating Olive Garden two meals a day for seven weeks.

olive garden alan martin 2

We’re guessing he didn’t eat the Chicken Fritta at every meal.

While Martin didn’t go to the trouble of blogging every NPP meal on Tumblr, it’s still an amazing achievement in a few ways.

How did Martin feel once his NPP days were behind him?

He told Salon,

“It was worth it for the first bite of spaghetti and meatball! But it was worth it in more ways than just having happy taste buds. I was encouraged to see that our country still has jolly, fun people who love a good story, that root for the underdog and cheer when the little man wins. Of the comments I read and received, 99 percent were positive! The other 1 percent was at least funny…

“And I certainly am thankful for whoever invented chicken gnocchi soup!”

In a land where it’s possible to compile a gallery of the struggle faces of competitive eating, we’re mostly just surprised that more people didn’t see the NPP as some kind of challenge.

[via WGHP, Salon, Consumerist]