Joey Chestnut Wins 2017 Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest, His 10th All-Time
Joey Chestnut captured his 10th Mustard Belt on Tuesday by eating an event-record 72 hot dogs and buns in 10 minutes to win the 2017 Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest during the annual Independence Day event at the corner of Surf & Stillwell in Coney Island, New York City.
It’s the second consecutive triumph for Chestnut, who’s won every Fourth of July showcase since 2007 except for the 2015 competition won by Matt Stonie. The Megatoad finished a disappointing third in this year’s battle of the friendly rivals with 48 hot dogs and buns.
Carmen Cincotti enjoyed a breakout performance to come in second with 62.
Cincotti, 24, is known as the Mutiny, a perfect nickname for the eater who remained competitive for most of the 10 minutes and was within striking distance of a shocking win. He put his potential on display by eating 53 dogs in qualifying after posting 42 in the main event last year.
The rivalry between Chestnut and Stonie has reinvigorated the contest, which lost some of its luster following the exit of Japanese standout Takeru Kobayashi due to a contract dispute in 2010. It left Jaws virtually unchallenged as he earned eight straight victories.
Stonie, who’s become an online sensation with his eating stunts on YouTube, brought some legitimate drama back to the proceedings. His two-dog victory in 2015 showed Jaws was beatable in his trademark event and made the Megatoad the future face of the sport.
Chestnut bounced back strong last year to recapture the title by eating 70 hot dogs and buns, which set the new competition record and fell just 3.5 short of his own world record from qualifying.
Afterward, the San Jose resident said the 2015 loss "woke up the sleeping giant" and pushed him back to the mountaintop in Major League Eating’s premier event, per Michael Balsamo of the Associated Press.
"Last year was rough," Chestnut said last July 4. "This year was the best ever."
The 33-year-old Chestnut scored an overtime victory over Stonie in the World Ice-Cream Sandwich Eating Championship last month in San Diego. Both chowed down 25.25 dessert delights in six minutes, and Jaws ate the tiebreaker sandwich quicker for the win.
Chris Stone of the Times of San Diego passed along comments from the Megatoad about his encounters with competitive eating’s franchise player.
"We’re all friends up on stage, but at the same time, it’s a diehard competition," Stonie said. "There’s money on the line."
In the case of the Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest, the winner took home a cool $10,000, double the amount of the second-place finisher, according to Mark J. Burns of Forbes.
Watching Chestnut eat more than 60 hot dogs to win the Mustard Belt on America’s birthday has become just as much of a holiday tradition as fireworks over the past decade. He’s a dominant force who has seemingly found his stride since his loss two years ago.
The only question is how long he can stay on top. Many viewed Stonie’s win two years ago as a potential changing of the guard. It’s turned out those predictions were premature. Jaws is the eater to beat in every competition he takes on, especially every Fourth of July on Coney Island.