The 4th of July has many famous traditions; parades, fireworks and baseball all have their place, but nothing quite says “America” like a competitive hotdog-eating competition. Each year some of the world’s biggest appetites gather on Coney Island, New York City, for Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest, “the Superbowl of Competitive Eating”.
Taking place each year since 1967, this century the men’s contest has been dominated by two colossal champions. Between 2001 and 2006, the legendary Takeru Kobayashi won a remarkable 6 consecutive titles. Aficionados were sure that never again would there be such a dominant champion.
And then came Joey Chestnut.
The Donald Bradman of Hot Dogs
Chestnut has turned Nathan’s contest into his personal fiefdom, winning all but one of the competitions since 2007. His hegemony is so complete that Paddy Power is offering just 1/9 on the remarkable Chestnut winning this year’s contest, with any other winner from the field being offered at 4/1.
Worryingly for other competitive eaters, Chestnut shows no signs of getting full. He has broken his own record in the last two years, pushing it up to 74. For Paddy Power, it could definitely go higher: the bookmaker is giving odds of 4/9 that the record will be smashed in 2019.