Nathan's Annual Hot Dog Eating Contest was held on Wednesday, July 4 at Coney Island. Before we post the results let me just say this from a personal perspective. On the same day as the contest was being held we had hot dogs for dinner. They were store bought Nathan's dogs. I managed one and a half before I was full. I probably could have managed two and a half if I had really wanted to push it. That makes whatand Sonya Thomas did seem that much more impressive.
Joey Chestnut won his sixth straight title. "Jaws," as he is affectionately called by his peers, easily won the competition on the men's side. He tied the previous record (set by himself in 2009) by taking down 68 hot dogs in the 10 minutes allowed. That's almost 7 hot dogs a minute. To break that down even further that is a little more than a hot dog every 10 seconds. These aren't just the dogs themselves either...this includes the buns as well. The competitors are allowed to dunk the hot dogs in water but for no more than 5 seconds. Chestnut was disappointed that he could not set a new record for his fans but said, "I feel good. It was a great win. I'm already looking forward to next year." Now, one might think that a guy who can throw down 68 hot dogs at a single sitting might be a slob. Not so! Chestnut is just a tad over 6' and weighs in at about 210 lbs. He took home a cheque for $10,000 for his first place finish. Jim Janus knocked off 52 hot dogs and took home the second place prize of $5,000. Third place went to Patrick Bertoletti who scarfed down 51 and took home $2,500.
Sonya Thomas was the winner on the women's side. She ate 45 hot dogs, one for every year of her life. She walked off with the first place prize of $5,000 and says she will be back next year to defend her title. Sonya turns 46 and that will be her goal next year. Sonya is only 5'5" and weighs in at 100 lbs.
In case you are wondering you must qualify to get into this contest. You must be eighteen or over. Defending champs get a bye and are automatically in. There are qualifying events throughout the year. If you win an event you are automatically in. Also, two wildcards get in. Those are the two with the most points in total through the qualifiers without winning a single event. If you think you have what it takes you could be going up against Joey Chestnut or Sonya Thomas a year from now on July 4. Start practicing.