The Nathan's hot dog eating contest is held every year on July 4, at the boardwalk of Brooklyn's Coney Island and is broadcast live on television. This year saw Joey 'Jaws' Chestnut, who for eight straight years gobbled up all comers in the famed hot dog eating contest in New York, finally met his match this Saturday.
Chestnut, 31, was defeated by Matt Stonie, 23, his longtime rival in the niche competitive eating competition. Stonie devoured 62 hot dogs and buns in 10 minutes, two more than Chestnut at the hugely popular contest. It was a ketchup-flavored revenge for Stonie, who was runner-up to Chestnut in last year's showdown.
The women's contest was won by veteran competitive eater Miki Sudo, who gobbled down 38 hot dogs. That was seven more than second-place finisher Sonya Thomas, a former champ with multiple eating records under her belt.
This year's event was beamed live to a national audience by ESPN television, and also drew thousands of spectators. This uniquely American tradition dates back 99 years. Nathan's Famous Hot Dogs, one of America's best-known purveyors of wieners, said that it has held its Independence Day contest since 1916, when the winner consumed a relatively measly 13 hot dogs.
To get the hot dogs down, every contestant has his or her own peculiar trick. But, one standard technique includes eating the bread separately after first soaking it in water, then stuffing the meat down one's throat. Some competitors are seen wriggling their bodies to help get the food down faster. Anyone who regurgitates is disqualified from the contest.