Defending champ Chestnut sets record with 74 hot dogs

WikiCommons via user TheCulinaryGeek

Every year on July 4, the hot dog brand Nathan's Famous hosts a hot dog eating contest at their Coney Island home, a spot that TIME has previously called the "spiritual home of the US hot dog".

The counting went awry on Independence Day at the nation's premier hot dog eating contest on Coney Island, ESPN reported, but perennial champion Joey Chestnut was still crowned the champion.

Nothing says the Fourth of July like barbecues, fireworks and Joey Chestnut winning the Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest.

The judges originally counted 64 hot dogs, but it was later revealed that an entire plate wasn't counted. It was an impressive number - at that point, he had out-eaten second-place finisher Carmen Cincotti by 19 hot dogs and buns - but far off from his own world record of 73.5.

While Chestnut earned his victory in the men's competition, Miki Sudo likewise defended her crown in the women's competition, eating 37 hot dogs within the 10-minute timeframe.

Will you root for Joey Chestnut in next year's Nathan's Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest?

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Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest is now considered one of the biggest and most famous competitive eating events in the world.

While the practice of dunking perfectly good hot dogs in water and sliding them down your throat at lightning speed may seem unpleasant, Chestnut has repeatedly assured the public that he loves it. On the men's side, Chesnutt ate more than 10 complete hot dogs than his closest competitor. Cincotti was at first credited with eating 45 hot dogs, but after calculating in uncounted plates, officials agreed he actually downed 64 hot dogs. For starters, while a hot dog and its bun have to be eaten, they don't have to be eaten together.

Chestnut said he was "feeling good". Sudo downed 41 dogs a year ago.

Sudo downed 41 franks and buns previous year.

"I found a vicious rhythm", the 34-year-old Chestnut said after the stuffing session. Michelle Lesco took second with 28 hot dogs, and Juliet Lee came in third with 25 hot dogs.

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