hot dog eating contest

Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest is held every year in Coney Island, Brooklyn, on 4 July, Independence Day in the US.

Where and When

The contest has been held in Nathan's Famous restaurant in Coney Island, since 1916, when the restaurant first opened.

Nathan's is a US-based chain of fast food restaurants specialising in hot dogs.

The contest starts at noon and is open to the public. As around 50,000 visitors are expected, people are advised to arrive before 11am.

Where to Watch

The contest will be broadcast by ESPN, a US-based television channel live at 12 pm ET (5 pm GMT), ESPN 2 at 1 pm ET (6 pm GMT).


This year's prize is $20,000 (£11,676) in cash for both male and female winners.

First Place: $10,000 (£5838)
Second Place: $5,000 (£2919)
Third Place: $2,500 (£1459)
Fourth Place: $1,500 (£875)
Fifth Place: $1,000 (£583)

Last year's prize was $10,000.


Registration for the contest is administered by the International Federation of Competitive Eating (IFCE). Participants must be at least 18 years old.

The competitors stand on a platform behind a long table with drinks and Nathan's Famous hot dogs.

The contestant who eats the most hot dogs and buns in ten minutes wins.

A designated scorekeeper for each contestant counts the number of hot dogs eaten.

Hot dogs still in the mouth at the end of the ten minutes count if they are subsequently swallowed.

No one is allowed to start eating until an official gives the signal. Competitors can break the hotdogs into pieces and dip into liquids (usually water) to make them softer.

If someone vomits during the contest, they are disqualified if the vomit touches the plate or table.

Last Year's Records

Men's contest

Joey Chestnut of San Jose, California, ate 69 hot dogs and buns in ten minutes. Chestnut has won the hot dog contest seven consecutive times.

Women's contest

Sonya Thomas consumed 45 hot dogs and buns in ten minutes.