"I found a vicious rhythm", the 34-year-old Chestnut said after the stuffing session. Chestnut is the sport's all-time record holder and in 2016, he ate 73.5 hot dogs and in 2017, he consumed 72 hot dogs (with buns) in 10 minutes. Chestnut has dominated the contest for over a decade and is widely seen as the greatest competitive eater of all time, holding dozens of world records. Apparently the counters had missed a couple of plates' worth of hot dogs, putting his number 10 higher than initially reported.
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A total of US$40,000 in prize money was up for grabs, with the first-place winners taking home US$10,000 each. Sudo and Chestnut took home $10,000 each. Competitor Carmen Cincotti was also credited with eating 45 hot dogs, until it was discovered that he had consumed 64. Last year, he almost equaled that mark with 72 dogs.
Fireworks and parades and family time are all nice, but everyone knows the real jewel of the Fourth of July is the annual Nathan's Famous Hot-Dog Eating Contest.
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Ten-time victor Joey "Jaws" Chestnut will confront 20 other men on New York's Coney Island boardwalk.
On the women's side, Miki Sudo won the Mustard Belt for the fifth straight year.
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Sudo, 32, was a fan favorite, drawing big cheers from the crowd during her performance, which was slightly delayed after she requested new water to soak her buns. Over the decades, it's become a major event: tens of thousands of spectators gather to watch the food battle go down, in which dozens of competitors stuff their faces as rapidly as possible with processed meat and buns. She competed against 19 women this year. Five protesters were taken into custody for questioning and released.