It was hot dog number 62 that sealed the five-peat championship for the 27-year-old nicknamed “Jaws.”
At Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest, a veritable Fourth of July tradition, held each year in Coney Island, Joey “Jaws” Chestnut showed his eating prowess once again. The San Jose, Calif. native, who has won the contest each year since 2007, will take home $10,000 worth of winnings for his feat – and at least that many calories as well.
About 30 gluttons from across the world showed up for the 10-minute contest, which celebrates the nation’s true favorite pastime: eating. The next-closest competitor was Patrick “Deep Dish” Bertoletti, who consumed 55 hot dogs but found himself no match for the reigning champion.
Chestnut, who’s a construction engineer by training, tells ESPN that he’ll be back next year. And why not, when he can earn $10,000 for a mere happy meal? After all, the 62 hot dogs he ate today were just a snack compared to his world-record setting performance of 68 in 2009.
And in the spirit of equality for the sport of competitive eating, women had their own Nathan’s championship to partake in this year. Sonya “The Black Widow” Thomas, who set the women’s world record in 2009 with 41 dogs, nearly matched her own record today. After being six dogs behind second-place finisher Juliet Lee halfway through the match, Thomas had a strong second half, consuming a whopping 40 hot dogs in total to take home the victory.
Both winners received the “mustard belt,” the holy grail of processed meat consumption. We hope the belt is large enough to fit around their sure-to-expand waists.