Joey Chestnut Regains Championship in Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest
Chestnut, 32, downed 70 hot dogs and buns in 10 minutes — the most hot dogs and buns ever eaten at the competition.
NEW YORK (AP) — Joey "Jaws" Chestnut on Monday regained the Mustard Yellow International Belt, ousting Matt "Megatoad" Stonie for the championship title at the annual Fourth of July hot dog eating contest at Nathan's Famous in Coney Island.
Chestnut, 32, downed 70 hot dogs and buns in 10 minutes — the most hot dogs and buns ever eaten at the competition — polishing off 17 more wieners than Stonie. Chestnut's eight straight victories ended last year when he lost the title in an upset to Stonie. Both men are from San Jose, Calif.
In 2013, Chestnut set a world record by eating 69 hot dogs and buns in 10 minutes. Contest officials said Chestnut set a new record last month when he ate 73 ½ hot dogs and buns during a qualifying event.
As he gripped the mustard-colored belt after his win Monday afternoon, Chestnut said Stonie had "woke up the sleeping giant" when he beat him out last year.
"Last year was rough," Chestnut told the crowd. "This year was the best ever."
Stonie said there were "no excuses" for his loss. He said Chestnut did an amazing job.
With thousands of people — many wearing Nathan's Famous hats — watching the eaters on an elevated stage along the famed Coney Island boardwalk, the next closest competitor ate 41 hot dogs.
The men's contest came more than an hour after the women competed, with defending champion Miki Sudo capturing first place.
The Las Vegas woman scarfed down 38 ½ hot dogs and buns in 10 minutes to claim the championship title for the third straight year. Both she and Chestnut received $10,000 each.
Sudo, 30, downed 4 ½ more wieners than previous champion Sonya "Black Widow" Thomas, 48, of Alexandria, Va., who devoured 34 hot dogs. Thomas had held the title from 2011 until she lost in an upset to Sudo in 2014.
The colorful holiday tradition draws its share of characters. Many in the crowd on Monday wore foam hats shaped like hot dogs. One man held a sign that read, "Make America Eat Again," a play on presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump's campaign slogan, "Make America Great Again."