Joey “Jaws” Chestnut again gorged his way into history Thursday, winning his seventh consecutive Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating championship in Coney Island by scarfing 69 hot dogs and buns in 10 minutes — a new world record.
The 29 year old seven-time winner Chestnut beat his personal best by one wiener, but he still put on a show compared to his performance last year where he won the competition with 62 hot dogs.
The only competition came from Matt Stonie. The second place finisher consumed 51 dogs and buns at the Coney Island battle of intestinal fortitude.
The San Jose, Calif., man known as Jaws scarfed down the dogs and buns to win the Fourth of July men’s contest. He takes home $10,000 and a mustard-yellow champion’s belt, says the NY Daily Mail.
“I almost started crying for a second. I’m happy as heck!” said Chestnut, 29, basking in his postprandial achievement. “Things came together today. The hot dogs were really good. It wasn’t too hot.”
Chestnut had said his pace has been uneven in the past, but “this year I’m trying to eat a little more gracefully, conserve my energy.”
The crowd went crazy after the clock hit 10 minutes.
“It is an art, it is a poem, it is a prayer that he’s executing right now!” shouted George Shea, the chairman of Major League Eating, the governing body of all stomach-centric sports.
Saliva, sweat, water, and hot dog detritus mixed at Chestnut’s feet as he hoisted the Mustard Yellow International Belt to the heavens yet again.
With this year’s victory, Chestnut has now bested his former rival, Takeru Kobayashi, who won six times. Kobayashi competed in a different eating contest Thursday.
On the women’s side, Sonya Thomas, who weighs only 100 lbs. and is known as the “Black Widow” of competitive eating, downed almost 37 franks for the win. She went toe-to-toe with Juliet Lee with a second to spare. Lee ate 36 hot dogs.
Thomas said the challenge of shovelling down dozens of franks is actually “more mental than physical.”
“I have to fight with myself, so I’m going to try to really focus,” said Thomas, of Alexandria, Virginia, where she manages a fast-food restaurant.
Now in its 98th year, the Nathan’s Famous Fourth of July International Hot Dog Eating Contest draws crowds of thousands to marvel at contestants cramming frankfurters down their throats.
Lindsay Herzog, 23, who flew from Chicago specifically for the contest, was mesmerized by the slovenly champ. She’d been in the audience for all seven of his victories.
“The first time I came here was Joey Chestnut’s first competition,” said Herzog. “I was hooked.”
The contest, organized by Major League Eating, attracts huge crowds to Nathan’s iconic frankfurter stand near the Coney Island boardwalk.
Each Nathan’s Famous hot dog and bun has 290 calories, 17 grams of fat and 710 milligrams of sodium. A normal American — not a gustatory gladiator — is supposed to consume 2,000 calories a day, and no more than 200 grams of fat or 2,300 milligrams of salt.