By W. Thomas Smith Jr.

As if being named National Sheriff of the Year 2021 and S.C. Sheriff of the Year 2021 were not enough, Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott has earned a new title: The S.C. State Fair’s Boiled Peanut Eating Champion 2021.

“This was the second annual boiled peanut eating contest,” said Nancy Smith, general manager of the S.C. State Fair. “It was great fun, a great crowd, and enjoyed by all the spectators and participants.”

Sponsored by the Lexington County Blowfish baseball team with peanuts provided by Rawl Farms of Lexington County, the event was held Wednesday, October 20, at the Pepsi Place Stage. The contest participants included Sheriff Lott, Lexington County Sheriff Jay Koon, WLTX-TV Sports Anchor and Sports Reporter Chandler Mack, and WIS-TV Sports Director Rick Henry. Retired Columbia broadcaster Joe Pinner (aka WIS-TV’s “Mr. Knozit”) emceed the contest.

“I love boiled peanuts, so this was a natural thing for me to do,” said Lott, who consumed 74 peanuts in two minutes. “The golden peanut trophy will be in a prominent place on a bookshelf in my office.”

Sheriff Lott is not the only 1st place recipient from the Richland County Sheriff’s Department at this year’s Fair. Artist Rachel Myers – a deputy and senior school resource officer at Ballentine Elementary School – won 1st place for her artwork in the S.C. State Fair’s decorative painting-mixed media category.

– Pictured (L-R) are Sheriff Jay Koon, S.C. State Fair general manager Nancy Smith, and Sheriff Leon Lott with the “golden peanut” trophy.