Legendary competitive eater Joey "Jaws" Chestnut is once again the odds-on favorite to take home the men's championship belt at the Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest on Tuesday.
The contest is sponsored by Nathan's Famous hot dogs and was first held at Coney Island in 1916 on the US Independence Day holiday. He broke his own previous world record of 70 hot dogs, which he set a year ago, and he's now won a record 10 Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contests.
Last year, the Las Vegas resident polished down 38 1/2 dogs, beating out three-time victor Sonya "The Black Widow" Thomas, of Alexandria, Va., with 35.
Chestnut had been the reigning champion and favorite heading into the competition. "Next year if I come back, you can bet I'll be pushing harder". This is his 10th win and he improved on the speed-eating tally that he posted last summer.
Many people wore hot dog-shaped foam hats and held signs with messages like "Bun Stuff" to cheer for the eaters. Miki Sudo won the women's division with 41 hot dogs and buns. The event is overseen by a federation called Major League Eating.
"I didn't do what I wanted to do, but I'm still happy", Chestnut said, sweating in the blistering beachside heat. The 33-year-old said he'd hoped to down even more dogs but was leaving feeling good. She downed 38 dogs/buns in 2016, beating Thomas by three.
The owner of the Coney Island stand, Nathan Handwerker, overheard four immigrants arguing over who was more patriotic.
Meanwhile, Miki Sudo (MIHK'-ee SOO'-doh) is hoping for a fourth title in a row as she confronts Sonya "The Black Widow" Thomas in the women's competition.