The two defending champs won the Nathan’s Famous Fourth of July International Hot Dog Eating Contest! Joey “Jaws” Chestnut and Miki Sudo again munched their way to conquest.
The competition, which has taken place at the original Nathan’s Famous location in Coney Island in the New York City area of Brooklyn since the first recorded contest in 1972, has become a big attraction, drawing massive throngs every year.
People attending competition wearing themed foam hats.
Van Taylor and his family tell that they were intended to come out to watch the event this year. Last year they watched the hot dog eating contest on TV, and daughter Vivian was “fascinated by it.”
The Taylor family
According to TV by the Numbers’ Rick Porter, ESPN has on-air the competition live since 2004, and 1.141 million viewers tuned into the event previous year.
Chestnut, the defending men’s champ, effectively sustained his supremacy with his 12th win. Chestnut has won four straight, with his only defeat coming in 2015 opposite to Matt Stonie.
At the Empire State Building in New York on Wednesday, defending men’s champion Joey Chestnut, left, and former champion Matt Stonie during the contest weigh-in. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)
Chestnut, 35, went up against competitors such as Geoffrey Esper, the No. 2-ranked Eater in the World by Major League Eating and the World Pizza Eating Champion (he ate 83 slices of 10-inch pizza in 10 minutes); Stonie, the 2015 champion and the No.3-ranked Eater in the World, and 15 others.
Chestnut set a record previous year after eating 74 hot dogs, but he fell short after eating 71 hot dogs this year. This is the fourth time that Chestnut has smashed the 70 hot dog barrier.
At one point, Chestnut was on step to eat almost 90 hot dogs. Though, he reduced speed as time wore on. The next nearest competitor was Darron Breeden, who came in second place after eating 48 hot dogs.
On the women’s side, Sudo, successfully defended her title and took home her sixth straight win after eating 31 hot dogs.
Miki Sudo, right, ate 31 hot dogs to win the women’s competition.
She faced off against Michelle Lesco, who came in second last year and is the No. 2-ranked female Eater in the World; Juliet Lee, who’s famous for being the World Jellied Cranberry Sauce Eating Champion (13.23 lbs. in eight minutes), and 12 others.
Lesco was once again the runner-up, consuming 26 hot dogs to win second place.
Chestnut and Sudo will each take home $10,000 for winning the competition this year.