The odds were in reigning champion Joey "Jaws" Chestnut’s favor heading into the 98th annual Nathan’s Famous Hot-Dog-Eating Contest on New York’s Coney Island, and the world’s number one-ranked professional eater didn’t disappoint. By the end of the 10-minute binge, Chestnut had consumed 69 hot dogs, breaking the world record and winning his record seventh Nathan’s competition.
With the sun beating down on a 90-degree day, thousands of spectators crowded the intersection of Surf and Stillwell Avenues, where Nathan’s Famous Hot Dogs has been in business since 1916. Joining Chestnut (who was carried in on a palanquin) on the platform were 15 additional competitors, with like Christos "Hot Dog Hercules" Kyriazis, Jeff "The Beast Man" Butler, Matt "Megatoad" Stonie, and Tim "Eater X" Janus, each with very impressive resumés themselves.
With the ground rules laid out (a 10-minute time limit, drinks of water cannot exceed five seconds, and disqualification for any "reversal of fortune"), the competition got underway, and Chestnut and Stonie were neck and neck until about the fourth minute, when Chestnut, eating two hot dogs at a time, broke away from the pack. When the buzzer sounded, Chestnut had packed in a world record 69 hot dogs, just one short of his goal of 70, with Stonie coming in second place with 51 dogs, and Janus in third with 50.
Not only did Chestnut break the hot dog-eating world record, he set a record for most wins of the Nathan’s Famous Hot-Dog-Eating Competition, with seven, besting rival Takeru Kobayashi, who’s won six.
"The crowd pushed me, and wouldn’t let me slow down," Chestnut told ESPN after winning. "It’s awesome."
As for what he’ll do next? "I’m going to go to sleep," he said.