Just as fireworks are a tradition on the Fourth of July, so too is one of the nation’s great pastimes: The Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest. There is nothing that screams “America!” quite like scarfing down a few hot dogs on a hot summer day.
To make things even more fun, why not throw a wager down on the upcoming competitive eating action? Before you do, here are a few things to know heading into this competition. When you are finished, you will feel like a Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest expert.
The eating extravaganza will take place in Coney Island, Brooklyn, at 12 p.m. ET on Tuesday.
The men’s side has been lopsided for nearly two decades. At the tale end of Takeru Kobayashi’s run of dominance arrived Joey Chestnut, the odds-on favourite to walk away with the crown (-5000) in the 2023 edition of the Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest. The real test will be his over/under, currently set at 73.5 hot dogs.
Though Chestnut dominates the competition every year, there are a couple of other names to watch. Check out the odds via BetMGM for most of the other competitors in the field as they attempt to take a run at the king of eating:
|Bartley Weaver IV
Chestnut is clearly the massive favourite and there isn’t any sign of him slowing down this year. Esper is clearly the closest thing to competition that Chestnut will face. That said, if you are insistent on looking for an upset, take the field (+3000). Still, it doesn’t look like there will be anyone to take down Chestnut in his quest for a 16th title in this vaunted event.
Chestnut has shown time and time again that it’s a bad idea to doubt him when it comes to this event. There is perhaps not a more dominant competitor on earth in this unique event and the ridiculously lopsided odds reflect that.
Just like on the men’s side, there is a dominant force for the women. Miki Sudo is the overwhelming favourite (-5000) to win. The field is also a lot smaller than the men’s side, but the sheer fact that only one other competitor – Michelle Lesco – gets odds should tell you how dominant Sudo has been.
Sudo has become the female equivalent to Chestnut. Since entering the competition back in 2014, she has won nine of the last 10 Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contests. A win this year would put her in Chestnut territory, giving her an unprecedented 10 wins.
You may be wondering about that one blemish on her resume. She didn’t win the 2021 event, but that’s because she didn’t even compete. She was expecting a child at that time, so chowing down on hot dogs wasn’t exactly the best idea. Upon her return to the competitive eating scene, she won the 2022 event, showing that she hasn’t slowed down and doesn’t plan to for some time.
The legend of Joey Chestnut
Joey Chestnut has become synonymous with competitive eating, and not just at the Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest. That said, no one has dominated the competition the way that Chestnut has over the better part of the last two decades.
Chestnut has been involved in the competition dating back to 2005. For the first two years, he managed to prove to be stiff competition for the dominant competitor at the time, Kobayashi. The latter was setting world records and creating benchmarks that seemingly couldn’t be cleared.
After losses in 2005 and 2006, Chestnut managed to topple his rival in 2007, winning with a 66-63 hot dog advantage. Not only was that effort a personal best for Chestnut, but it proved to be a world record (at the time, at least).
Continued dominance and world records
That 2007 contest was just the beginning. Chestnut would rip off eight consecutive wins in the competition, besting his 2007 mark twice with 68 hot dogs in 2012 and 69 hot dogs in 2013. It seemed as though Chestnut couldn’t be stopped.
In the 2015 competition, however, the streak came to an end. Matt Stonie would upset the defending champion with a 62-60 victory. It was shocking not only to Chestnut, but the competitive eating world as well.
It didn’t take long for Chesnut to rebound, however. If anything, Stonie’s win in 2015 seemed to awaken the monster to his fullest potential. Beginning in 2016, Chestnut would not only win the event, but set world records three years in a row.
He would tally 70 hot dogs in 2016, 72 in 2017, and an incredible 74 in 2018. His dominance only grew in 2020 with 75 hot dogs before peaking in 2021 with an incredible 76 hot dogs. Chestnut became a legend at that point, and he only continues to grow his name.
A win this year would give him 16 Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest Championships, exponentially more than the man he overcame to begin his dominant run.
There’s no telling when Chestnut will stop. The 2015 loss seemed to propel him to get better with each year and he has been devouring the competition ever since.