Before the fireworks, another Independence Day tradition takes place: the Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog Contest. This culinary extravaganza is a staple at the corner of Surf and Stillwell Avenues in Coney Island, Brooklyn.
This gala of gluttony is a culinary highlight for Joey Chestnut, who has won the event 15 times. Chestnut, who entered his first hot dog contest in 2005, has not lost in the contest since 2015. In short, he is the best Frankfurter eater ever.
As he aims for his 16th mustard belt on Tuesday (Noon ET on ESPN2), he is an overwhelming favorite at -3000 according to Caesars Sportsbook. Here’s a look at the numbers behind his dominance:
THEY HAVE ARRIVED!🎉 Check out the stunning belts for this year’s victorious 4th of July Eaters! #roadtoconey #eating contest #majorleagueeating #nathansfamous #hotdogeating #Fourth of July #ConeyIsland #Mustard Belt pic.twitter.com/ZgzyOhqsqz
— Eating in the Major League (@eatingcontest) June 27, 2023
Joey Chestnut in numbers
The top 10 totals at the event belong to Chestnut, and his 76 hot dogs eaten in 2021 is the record. Chestnut has eaten more than 70 dogs and buns six times. But he doesn’t just gobble up hot dogs, he holds the major league food record in 54 different categories, including chicken wings (182 in 30 minutes), hard-boiled eggs (141 in 8 minutes), and grilled cheese sandwiches (47 in 10). minutes) and Twinkies (121 in 6 minutes).
1.152: Since 2005, Chestnut has eaten 1,152 hot dogs and buns at the event.
682.5: Although Chestnut hasn’t competed in every event since 2005, the total of 1,152 dogs means he’s eaten 682.5 more hot dogs than any other eater.
7,776/648: Nathan’s competition dogs are 6.75 inches long. The total length of the hot dogs eaten by Chestnut is 7,776 inches or 648 feet.
648 feet in comparison:
Distance to Dead Center at Citi Field and Yankee Stadium: 408 feet.
Distance of Aaron Judge’s longest home run: 496 feet.
Height of the Statue of Liberty: 305 feet.
142: Each Nathan’s hot dog in the competition weighs 56 grams. That means Chestnut ate 142 pounds of hot dogs during his 15 appearances on July 4th. With that, Chestnut ate a weight equivalent to the weight of the average UFC featherweight fighter.
In 2022, Chestnut ate 63 hot dogs and buns. Each of these has 290 calories, which means the chestnut burned 18,270 calories in 10 minutes. In his competitive career, he consumed almost 335,000 calories from hot dogs alone.
18,270 in comparison:
As Chestnut seeks his 16th mustard belt, there are some high-level, competitive eaters looking to best him. However, Matt Stonie, the last man to defeat Chestnut in that event, is not scheduled to compete.
Chestnut compared to other goats
Competitive eating is typically an individual sport where only one person competes against the competition.
Chestnut has won the Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog Contest 15 of the last 16 years and seven straight years. Chestnut is mastering his sport at a time when he’s comparing fairly well to champions in other individual sports:
Rafael Nadal: In 18 years, between 2005 and ’22, he won 14 French Open titles.
Kelly Slater: Between 1994 and 2011 he had 11 World Surf League titles.
Martina Navratilova: She won nine Wimbledon singles titles between 1978 and 1990, including six in a row between 1982 and 1987.
Tiger Woods: Won at least one major championship every year from 1997 to 2008 except two (2003, 2004). This included the “Tiger Slam” in 2000-2001, where he held all four major titles simultaneously.
In team sports, the leaders in the four majors are: Bill Russell (NBA) and Henri Richard (NHL) at 11, Yogi Berra (MLB) at 10 and Tom Brady (NFL) at 7.
Miki Sudo: Dominates the world of competitive eating for women
Miki Sudo is the world record holder for hot dogs eaten by women – she set the record at the 2020 event at 48.5 – and has won eight of the 12 women’s competitions since 2011 (previously the event was a student).
Sudo missed the 2021 event – which Michelle Lesco won – while pregnant with her son Max, but returned in 2022 by knocking down 40 dogs and winning the competition by a margin of 16.
But it’s not just hot dogs for Sudo, she also holds four other competitive eating records:
Ice cream, short form: 16.5 pints of vanilla ice cream in six minutes (2017)
kimchi: 8.5 pounds in six minutes (2013)
Hot wild rice dish: 14 pounds in eight minutes (2019)
corn dogs: 21 5.6-ounce corn dogs in eight minutes (2022)
Sudo is in top form on his way to the Hot Dog Eating Championship (July 4 at 10:45 am ET on ESPN3). At the 2023 Corn Eating Championship on April 30, she topped the student field with 52 ears in 12 minutes, just ahead of Gideon Oji with 51.5. Her husband, Nick Wehry, finished third with 44 eaten ears.
ESPN Stats & Information contributed to the research.