Joey ‘Jaws’ Chestnut broke a record at the 2016 Nathan’s Hot Dog Contest in Brooklyn, New York. The man gobbled 70 hot dogs and buns to regain the mustard-yellow belt he had lost last year against Matt ‘The Megatoad’ Stonie.
As it is now custom since the 70’s, the competition was held on July 4th as part of the celebrations, and a lot of people attended the famous event. Miki Sudo from Las Vegas continues to be the female champion, and this year, she devoured 38 ½ hotdogs and buns to hold her bejeweled pink belt.
It might seem like just a local tradition, but the annual hotdog eating competition is actually both important and profitable for its marketing power.
Nathan’s Hot Dogs, INC is now the most famous and successful hotdog specialized franchise in the United States of America. First founded as a modest stand by Nathan Handwerker, it was located at the corner of Surf and Stillwell Avenues in Coney Island which is now a historic site due to the success of the company.
Nathan founded Hot Dogs, INC but it was his son, Murray,who transformed the company into a privately owned franchise that produces millions of dollars every year. The eating contest started around the 70’s as part of the July 4th celebrations, and since then, it has become one of the main local events in this time of the year.
The build up to the 4th is here https://t.co/6DRIqYQTDb
— Joey Chestnut (@joeyjaws) June 30, 2016
The hotdog eating competition is serious business
Even though it started as a locally held contest, Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest is now regulated by the International Federation of Competitive Eating (IFOCE), and it has been doing so since 1997. The organization rewards the winners with the now famous yellow mustard belts and bejeweled pink belt, and provides the organizers of the contest with rules and referees.
There are usually around 20 people participating in the contest, and they all have to earn the right to be sitting there. The reigning champions is always invited, and most of the rest are chosen from the winners of different hotdog eating regional competitions. People with high rates at this kind of events can also be invited via wildcard, and the last, but not least are the special guests. The latter are usually the center of controversy since the IFOCE arbitrary picks them without any apparent criteria.
A competitor can be punished with a yellow card for messy eating, but the ultimate penitence fall over the ones that cannot hold the food inside. It is also called “reversal of fortune”, which means the participants are immediately disqualified if they throw up.
Nathan’s Famous already updated its Twitter page, and it set a picture of both Joey Chestnut and Miki Sudo to show the world the current king and queen of its hotdog eating contest.
— ⓂarcusD (@_MarcusD_) July 4, 2016
Source: CBS News