Nathan's Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest Preview

Kim MacCormack

Monday, June 11, 2018 11:24 AM UTC

Monday, Jun. 11, 2018 11:24 AM UTC

The world’s top competitive eaters will meet and eat in Coney Island for glory and, likely, gastric distress.

Competitive eaters, prime your stomachs!

On the Fourth of July, perennial favorites and hungry newbies will face off at Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest in Coney Island, N.Y.

The record, set in 2016 by 10-time winner Joey Chestnut, is 73.5 hot dogs in 10 minutes. Last year, Chestnut won by eating 72 hot dogs. Burp.

Last year’s winner in the women’s contest was Miki Sudo, who set a personal best of 41 hot dogs consumed.

Qualifying contests have been held for months to set the final lineup of contestants to vie for the Mustard Belt (yeah, seriously).

Wagering sites 5Dimes, BetMania, BetPhoenix and SportsBet are offering odds on the men’s and women’s competitions.

In the men’s contest, odds Chestnut will successfully defend is title are -380 and +260 someone from the field will win. Bookmakers also think a new hot dog eating record won’t be set with odds at -160 fewer than 72½ will be consumed and +120 more than 72 ½.

In the women’s competition, odds are -475 Sudo will repeat as winner, and +375 someone from the field will win. Odds, however, are tight on how many hot dogs will be eaten in the women’s contest, -130 more than 41½ hot dogs and -110 fewer than 41 ½.

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Learn how Joey Chesnut, Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog Eating Champ, became top dog. pic.twitter.com/1pQAI6aLVV

— Nathan's Famous (@originalnathans) June 7, 2018
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Regardless how many are eaten, it’s a good bet that bellies will be distended and that some kind of antacid will be needed after the 10-minute overeating fest.

The Nathan’s competition began in 1916, with “official” records only available since 1967, where the contest was about an hour long and 127 hot dogs were eaten by an unnamed truck driver.

In 1988, Jay Green won by consuming 10 hot dogs in 12 minutes, which seems pretty lightweight these days. In 2000, Kazutoyo “The Rabbit” Arai ate just over 25 hot dogs in 12 minutes.

But in 2001, the buns were literally blown off the contest when Takeru Kobayshi introduced the “Solomon method” of hot dog eating. That involves removing the hot dog from the bun, tearing the hot dog in two, dipping the buns in water (which breaks them down) and stuffing it all into one’s mouth. Kobayshi ate 50 hot dogs to win, doubling the record.

He won the contest six years in a row before being defeated in 2007 by Joey “Jaws” Chestnut, who consumed 66 hot dogs.

Chestnut is the No. 1 competitive eater in the world according to Major League Eating, which keeps track of this “sport.” He currently holds records in the consumption of both apple and boysenberry pie, “brain” tacos, long-form burritos, chicken wings, corned beef sandwiches, glazed doughnuts, hard-boiled eggs, fish tacos, funnel cake, gumbo, gyros, Krystal hamburgers, Hostess Donettes, ice cream sandwiches, jalapeno poppers, meat pies, mutton sandwiches, Philly cheese steaks, pierogis, Pizza Hut P’Zones, pulled pork, poutine, salt potatoes, shrimp cocktail, tamales, whole turkey and Twinkies. There are more, but we were getting nauseated.

The July Fourth Nathan’s Famous International Hot Dog Eating Contest will air live at 12 p.m. ET on ESPN2.

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