With all the hysteria surrounding the $1.53 billion lottery drawing Tuesday night, a local BBQ team is experiencing the thrill of winning its own lottery.
Stuff ’n Thangs of McMinnville recently won a lottery of backyard BBQ teams from all over the world to earn the privilege of participating in this weekend’s 30th annual Jack Daniel’s World Championship Invitational Barbecue.
The Stuff ’n Thangs team consists of Randal Gilliam, Jason Craighead, Justin Walling and Christy Ross. They will be competing against other amateur teams in the categories of ribs, chicken and pork butts.
“Thousands entered the lottery to try to get in so we’re pretty stoked we were lucky enough to be one of the 40 teams to get picked,” said Ross. “We’ll be there representing the community, flying the Tennessee flag and the Warren County flag.”
An estimated 25,000 to 30,000 spectators are expected to descend on the tiny town of Lynchburg this Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. to watch the competitive BBQ teams and to enjoy other festivities such as music, vendors, clogging, and a dog costume contest.
Tours of the world-famous Jack Daniel’s distillery are also available from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
In the professional BBQ division, teams are coming from nearly every state to compete for more than $45,000 in cash and prizes.
Gilliam and Craighead got their start in cook-offs around eight years ago almost by accident.
“They put in an eBay bid on a cooker and lowballed them,” said Ross. “Turns out they won so they figured they better start cooking.”
Ross thanked sponsors Goolsby Sausage for financial support, Open Flame Machine and Fabrication for making their prep trailer, and Tree City Wine & Spirits for providing Jack Daniel’s props, among many other contributors.
“It took a whole lot of people from Warren County to help us get down there,” said Ross.