We’ve all been there before. The Fourth of July picnic is almost over and you’re faced with the question of whether you should have that fourth or fifth hot dog. For competitors in the Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest, that would be a mere snack.
The annual competition returns for another year to its iconic Coney Island location in New York, where a competitors stuff their faces with dozens of hot dogs and buns in a 10-minute span.
Joey “Jaws” Chestnut is seeking his 12th Mustard Belt after setting a new record in the 2018 contest by eating 74 hot dogs, a full 10 more than the next best competitor. Miki Sudo has won the women’s division five straight years, but has never come closer than four hot dogs short of Sonya Thomas’ women’s record of 45.
Chestnut has raised his Nathan’s-Hot-Dog-Eating-Contest best in each of the last three years and inevitably has his eyes — and stomach — set on downing 75 all-beef franks at this year’s event.
Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest records
Matt Stonie is the only competitor in this year’s contest that has come within 12 hot dogs of Joey Chestnut’s world record of 74 hot dogs. The following records only reflect totals since 2008, the first year the allotted time was shortened from 12 minutes to 10.
*Chestnut’s 2016 record was set at the Giant National Capital BBQ Battle just nine days before the Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest
How many hot dogs did Joey Chestnut eat in 2018?
Joey Chestnut set a new world record in the 2018 Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest by eating 74 hot dogs in 10 minutes in a sweltering 91-degree heat.
“I was feeling good today,” Chestnut said minutes after eating nearly 21,000 calories worth of food. “I was happy. I love to eat. I tried to just have fun and was enjoying the food.”
Chestnut appeared to have “only” eaten 64 hot dogs when the clock expired, but judges later ruled his official counter had missed an entire plate of 10 hot dogs that he had quickly chowed down. Runner-up Carmen Cincotti’s counter also missed two full plates he had consumed, raising his original total of 44 to 64.
What is the prize for winning Nathan’s hot dog contest?
First place in both the men’s and women’s division receive a $10,000 prize. A remaining $20,000 purse is divided among the runners-up in both divisions.
While the money is great, the real prestige comes in the awarding of the championship belts. The winner of the men’s division receives a legendary mustard-colored, WWE-style belt, while the women’s champion receives a Pepto-Bismol-colored and sponsored pink belt.
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