Separate But Unequal: Nathan’s Parts Male and Female Hot-Dog-Eaters

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This year Nathan’s Famous is hosting their 96th hot-dog-eating contest, but it will be the first in which the men and women separately devour as many frankfurters and buns as they can in 10 minutes. While the rules will be the same for both groups, the potential winnings won’t be.

Whoever wins the man’s competition will get $20,000, while the winner of the women’s competition will get only $5,000. According to CNN, the chairman of Major League Eating, the annual sponsor of the contest, suggested that “the instant celebrity for the first female hot dog-eating champion will make up for the shortfall.” This is assuming, of course, that the female who wins is the kind of person who thinks instant celebrity is better than actual money (that would come with that same celebrity).

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While the split makes sense, given that the women’s stomachs tend to fill up far before the men’s, the ladies of NewsFeed have a less baseless suggestion for deciding the respective winnings — assuming the amount of money is related to how much eaters give the crowds what they want (i.e. the borderline-nauseous swallowing of an inhuman amount of meat). Last year, Joey Chestnut won the competition by eating 54 hot dogs in the 10-minute span. Sonya Thomas, the most feared female eater, meanwhile took down 36. As math would have it, her score is exactly two-thirds of his. So if Nathan’s is really going to justify the disparity, they should mirror the gap. The man gets $20,000. The woman gets $13,333.33 (repeating). Boom goes the proportional dynamite.

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