Yesterday, July 4, Nathan’s Famous hosted what may or may not have been its 100th annual International Hot Dog Eating Contest on Coney Island, where the original Nathan’s Famous is located. (Though a story has long circulated that four men held the first such competition at Nathan's in 1916, legendary p.r. man Mortimer Matz told the New York Times in 2010 that he and his associates had made the tale up. The earliest evidence of such a contest dates only from 1972.)
The event attracted an estimated 40,000 spectators, consisting of regulars and first-timers alike, reports The Wall Street Journal.
Eight-time contest winner Joey Chestnut from San Jose, California, snagged a ninth win after consuming 70 hot dogs in 10 minutes, a personal goal for Chestnut. He had won the competition for eight straight years before losing to Matt Stonie by a mere two hot dogs last year.
Chestnut says, “I went back and lost some weight, got healthier. I worked on my capacity, grew a little beard, and came back and won.”
This year, Chestnut beat out his closest competitor, Stonie, by 17 hot dogs. In June, at a qualifying event in Washington, D.C., Chestnut had earlier set a world record, eating 73.5 hot dogs and buns in 10 minutes, reports SB Nation.
On the women’s side, Miki Sudo of Las Vegas took home first place for the third straight year, eating 38.5 hot dogs.
Sudo and Chestnut each go home with a $10,000 prize, according to USA Today.
See how Nathan’s hot dogs fared on our roundup of America’s 75 Best Hot Dogs.