There’s nothing quite like a juicy, fully-loaded hot dog on the Fourth of July. But for some Independence Day eaters, hot dogs mean serious business. Enter: Joey Chestnut, the winner of the 2019 Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest once again.
A well-known competitive eater, Chestnut, 35, has won the Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest in Coney Island, New York, 12 times in the last 13 years, reigning victorious again on Thursday. Chestnut consumed 71 dogs and buns in ten minutes, falling short of his previous world record of 74, which he set at the competition in 2018.
Chestnut was a heavy favorite to win the contest again this year, and he (and his stomach of steel) did not disappoint. He downed 21 more hot dogs than the second place winner, who ate 50 of the franks and buns.
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On Tuesday, ESPN posted a video on Twitter documenting how Chestnut had been training for the 2019 competition, captioned, “So this is how @joeyjaws trains to eat 70+ hot dogs in 10 minutes.” The video shows Chestnut strengthening his jaw muscles by chewing on a ball while simulating eating with his throat muscles.
“It’s not something there are books written about, there aren’t trainers,” he says in the clip. “Everything is trial and error.” He says that he must train all the little muscles in his mouth, throat and jaw to ensure they don’t get tired, in which case the food would sit in the back of his throat and he would get nauseous.
Sports betting professional Darren Rovell noted that the 71 hot dogs comes out to 20,590 calories in total.
On the women’s side of the competition, Miki Sudo, 33, claimed the winning title for the sixth year in a row, eating 31 dogs and buns. Sudo fell short of her 37 hot dogs number from 2018, but still handily defeated the competition. Coming in second was Michelle Lesco with 27 hot dogs.
Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest has been held in Coney Island since 1972. An Independence Day tradition, the contest takes place at the original Nathan’s Hot Dogs location on the corner of Surf and Stillwell, and competitors chow down on their classic, natural-casing dogs.
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