People become famous for various reasons - Some because of their brilliant inventions, others for their musical or artistic talents. Then there is Joey Chestnut who has gained notoriety for his ability to scarf down more hot dogs, faster than anybody in the world, or at least anybody that bothers to compete in the legendary July 4th, Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest.
This year, the San Jose, California, resident who has been dominating this contest ever since he first entered seven years ago, managed to chow down an impressive 69 hot dogs in the allotted ten minutes - Not only did he outpace the second best competitor Matt Stonie by 18 wieners, he also outdid his personal and world record of 68 hot dogs that he first established in 2009 and matched, in 2012.
While Joey's eating prowess has helped keep this eating contest that has been a Coney Island, NY, tradition since 1916 exciting, the credit of elevating it to world famous status can be largely attributed to Japanese competitor Takeri Koyabashi, who in 2001 shocked the world by devouring 50 hot dogs in the allotted 10-minutes, more than double the amount eaten by the previous year's winner. Takeri went on to win it six more times, before young Joey showed up on the scene in 2007 - The rest, as they say, is history!
Fortunately for Joey, the Japanese competitor who holds Guinness World Records for five delicious foods - hot dogs, pasta, meatballs, Twinkies and hamburgers, decided to quit from the Nathan's challenge in 2010, after losing to him for three straight years.
Though it is the men that steal the limelight, the women are no slouches either! Alexandria resident Sonya Thomas AKA Black Widow, continued her dominance by chowing down almost 37 hot dogs - Though a few less than the 40 she managed to inhale in 2012, it was enough to outdo second place winner Juliet Lee, by half a wiener. The two champions each took home a $10,000 USD prize and Joey even received a mustard-yellow champion's belt. Not bad for a 10-minute eating frenzy!
Resources: ibtimes.com, dailymail.co.uk