Long live the king!
Joey Chestnut, the world’s top competitive eater, munched his way to a record-setting 16th victory at the annual Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest.
The 39-year-old gobbled down 62 hot dogs and buns in 10 minutes as the crowd serenaded him with chants of “Joey! Joey!” in front of the iconic Nathan’s flagship restaurant in Coney Island, for the annual Fourth of July competition.
His win comes after storms passing through Brooklyn threatened to cancel this year’s competitions. Contest organizers initially called off the event, but reversed course and held the match two hours later.
Ranked No. 1 in the world of competitive eaters by Major League Eating, Chesnut has won all but one of Nathan’s hot dog eating contests since 2007.
He set the current record in 2021, when the Indiana native managed to wolf down 76 hot dogs and buns in the 10-minute time window, beating the record he had set the previous year by one.
Chestnut, better known as “Jaws,” shocked the world in his first 2007 victory, toppling Japanese competitive eating legend Takeru Kobayashi.
The American chomped 66 hotdogs to take the title then and his appetite has only grown since.
Despite recovering from a broken leg and feeling anxious about another protester storming the stage like last year — where he triumphed by gulping down 67 dogs, beating second-place finisher Geoffrey Esper by more than 20 — Chestnut remained focused on the mountain of franks in front of him to secure his legacy as the hot dog eating champ.
Chestnut faced stiff competition from Nick Wehry, the world’s fourth-best competitive eater, and Max Suzuki, Japan’s top eater.
The competitive eater has gobbed his way to a net worth of $4 million since quitting work in construction in 2010 to allow him to focus full-time on guzzling goodies.
His first sponsor was indigestion remedy Pepto-Bismol, who paid him $10,000 to eat in four events, and by 2014 he was making over $200,000 a year as a competitive eater.
In 2022 Chestnut signed with a talent agency, admitting his talents lie in chomping rather than balancing spreadsheets.
“I’m really good at eating, [but] I don’t know my worth. I’m not good at negotiating contracts or making sure the contracts don’t conflict with each other,” he told USA Today.
As well as hot dogs Chestnut has competed in competitions to eat the most cherry pie, donuts, burritos, hamburgers, and chicken wings.
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