College student goes to great lengths to quantify his love of pizza
It’s no secret that college students love pizza. But few go to the lengths that Sam Myers did to quantify his pizza cravings over three and a half years.
Myers, a senior at Olin College in Needham, created an infographic detailing his online ordering habits, like his most popular toppings and the total caloric consequences of his greasy, cheesy choices.
A software engineering major, Myers created code that is able to sift through his inbox and organize information from his Domino’s Pizza order confirmations. The company’s digital platform, Domino’s AnyWare, allows customers to order pizzas through 15 options, such as social media accounts like Facebook and Twitter, smartwatches, and televsions.
Myers’s most popular toppings were pepperoni, Italian sausage, and, controversially, pineapple.
“Personally, I’m not a fan of pineapple pizza, but as an impartial food broker, I respect everyone else’s pizza choices,” Myers said.
Myers has ordered more than 900 pizzas during college career. That amounts to a whopping 2.4 million calories.
“I pulled some data from Domino’s website,” he said, and then he went to town reverse-engineering the company’s algorithm for nutritional facts for his pie deliveries.
A report published this year by researchers at the University at Buffalo found that college students are more likely to scarf down snacks, candies, desserts, fast food, and — you guessed it — pizzas when they drank at least four or five alcoholic drinks the previous night. Over half of college students drink, according to a report by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.
For Myers, the most popular toppings to combine on one pizza were: pepperoni, Italian sausage, and black olives; pepperoni, Italian sausage, and bacon; pepperoni, Italian sausage, and mushrooms; and pepperoni, Italian sausage, and premium chicken.
As a member of Domino’s Rewards program, Myers’s account amassed 1,280 points, good for 21 free pizzas.
The largest purchase Myers made was on Dec. 15, 2017, for a viewing of “Star Wars: The Last Jedi,” when his bill came to $764, for 75 items.
“I organized a school-wide event where we booked a theater,” he said. “The event eclipsed our dining hall’s open hours, so I organized a pizza order afterward to feed most of the attendees.”
Myers does not expect to grow tired of pizza, and plans to sample authentic pies during an upcoming trip to Italy.
“I think my love of pizza is safe for now,” he said.
College students who have Domino’s on speed dial now have more reason to cheer: The chain opened its 15,000th store earlier this year, in Texas. Overseas, it broke ground in Kosovo in the Balkans, and on island of Mauritius, off the coast of Africa.
Correction: An earlier version of this story misstated Sam Myers’ college major. The Globe regrets the error.