Quantcast
Get breaking news alerts via email

Click here to manage your alerts
Tim "Eater X" Janus, left, and five-time reigning champion Joey Chestnut, right, compete in the Nathan's Famous Hot Dog Eating World Championship, Wednesday, July 4, 2012, in the Brooklyn borough of New York. Chestnut went on to scarf down 68 hot dogs to win his sixth consecutive Fourth of July hot dog eating contest at Coney Island. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
Joey Chestnut Wins Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest


First Published Jul 05 2012 09:00 pm • Last Updated Jul 05 2012 09:00 pm

NEW YORK (AP) -- Joey Chestnut won his sixth straight Fourth of July hot dog-eating contest at Coney Island, downing 68 dogs and buns on Wednesday to tie his personal best in a sweaty, gag-inducing spectacle.

Last year, the 28-year-old San Jose, Calif., man nicknamed "Jaws" won with 62 hot dogs. He bested his main rival this year by 16 dogs, scarfing down all 68 in 10 minutes in the sweltering summer heat to take home $10,000 and the mustard yellow belt.

Join the Discussion
Post a Comment

"I feel good, it was a great win," Chestnut said after the contest, adding he wished he could have eaten a record number of hot dogs for the audience. "I tried my best. I'm looking forward to next year already."

Second place went to Tim Janus of New York with 52 hot dogs, who received $5,000. Third place went to Patrick Bertoletti of Chicago with 51, who won $2,500.

Chestnut was neck-and-neck with competitors during the first half of the contest, but he pulled ahead in the remaining minutes, choking down dog after dog, while other competitors slowed as the clock wound down.

"I'm happy to come out with the win," he said.

Sonya Thomas, of Alexandria, Va., downed 45 hot dogs to win the women's competition. She reached her goal of eating 45 in the time limit - her age - and took home her own pink champion's belt and $10,000.

Thomas, known as the "Black Widow" of competitive eating, won last year as well, the first time a separate contest was held for women. Juliet Lee, of Germantown, Md., took second place with 33 and won $5,000. Lee also won second place last year. Third place went to Michelle Lesco, of Tuscon, Ariz., who received $2,500 for downing 25 1/2.

Thomas said she started to feel sick while eating but kept pushing so she could win the title.

"There is a limit so I have to fight," she said.


story continues below
story continues below

Thomas said next year she's going to beat her record again and eat 46.

"Because I'm going to be 46 next year," she said.

The Nathan's Famous Fourth of July International Hot Dog Eating Contest has been a city tradition for 97 years. Tens of thousands of spectators gather to gawk as contestants shimmy, slither and bounce as they dip hot dogs in water and cram them down their throats.

For some, it's a painful reminder of excess - especially as the U.S. battles a growing obesity problem. The American Medical Association opposes competitive eating, saying it's harmful to the human body. But the competitive eaters are quite trim. Chestnut is more than 6 feet tall and a muscly 210 pounds, and Thomas, who is 5-foot-5, weighed in at barely 100 pounds.

Hot dogs, though, aren't the healthiest of choices. In addition to beef, they include salt and various food additives. Chestnut's total dog count was equal to more than 20,000 calories. This year, the animal rights group Mercy For Animals staged a protest against eating meat, with signs that read "Choose Vegetarian."

Chestnut is now tied with his former rival, Takeru Kobayashi, for consecutive wins. The slim Japanese champ held the record for hot dog eating from 2001 to 2007, when he was unseated by Chestnut.

But two years ago, after refusing to sign an exclusive contract with Major League Eating, the food equivalent of the NFL, he was banned from competition. He showed up anyway, wearing a T-shirt that said "Free Kobi," rushed the stage and was arrested, but charges were later dropped.

Last year, the Japanese native nicknamed the "Tsunami" held an unofficial contest from a rooftop on ritzy Fifth Avenue, eating near a giant plasma TV airing the official competition live.

Kobayashi competed in a different eating contest on Wednesday.



Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Top Reader Comments Read All Comments Post a Comment
Click here to read all comments   Click here to post a comment


About Reader Comments


Reader comments on sltrib.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Salt Lake Tribune. We will delete comments containing obscenities, personal attacks and inappropriate or offensive remarks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. If you see an objectionable comment, please alert us by clicking the arrow on the upper right side of the comment and selecting "Flag comment as inappropriate". If you've recently registered with Disqus or aren't seeing your comments immediately, you may need to verify your email address. To do so, visit disqus.com/account.
See more about comments here.
Staying Connected
Videos
Jobs
Contests and Promotions
  • Search Obituaries
  • Place an Obituary

  • Search Cars
  • Search Homes
  • Search Jobs
  • Search Marketplace
  • Search Legal Notices

  • Other Services
  • Advertise With Us
  • Subscribe to the Newspaper
  • Access your e-Edition
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Contact a newsroom staff member
  • Access the Trib Archives
  • Privacy Policy
  • Missing your paper? Need to place your paper on vacation hold? For this and any other subscription related needs, click here or call 801.204.6100.