What’s more patriotic than fireworks and a BBQ on the 4th of July? Well, of course, the world-famous Nathan’s hot dog eating contest, is scheduled to go down on Independence Day at Nathan’s Famous original restaurant in Coney Island, Brooklyn. This contest has become such a staple of 4th of July celebrations that nowadays it holds the same esteem and charisma like many of the top-tier sports entertainment events in the yearly calendar.
But what is it about this Hot Dog contest that makes it such a cultural and social phenomenon? What draws so many people to watch a contest where people eat as many wieners and buns as possible in a span of ten minutes?
Let’s break this down.
To trace back the alleged history of Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest, we have to go back to the early 1900s. This is because according to Nathan’s the contest started back on July 4th, 1916, when a group of four immigrants decided to see who the most patriotic of the group was by seeing who could eat the most hot dogs in one sitting.
Now, throughout history, different claims have been made as to who participated in the first contest, who were the judges, how many hot dogs the winner ate, and so on and so forth. But what matters the most here, especially for fans of this Hot Dog contest, is that as of 1916, and excluding the years 1941 and 1971, where the contest was not held due to political protests against the country’s involvement in WWII and later on in the Vietnam war, Nathan’s has put on quite a show every 4th of July to crown each year’s Hot Dog eating champion.
But, all of this turned out to be a fake publicity stunt made up by event promoter Mortimer Martz alongside an accomplice Max Rosey in order to give the event more cache. Still, let’s not allow publicity stunts to tarnish the fame of such an important day in the annual food competition calendar, and let’s continue with what makes this contest so great and how it goes down each year.
The event, which went from being a fun, even kind of ridiculous spectacle started gaining more and more fame as time went by, actually becoming a sanctioned event by the American Major League Eating Organization (MLE) and the International Federation of Competitive Eating (IFOCE) since 1997. Since then, only professional eaters participating under MLE’s supervision are allowed to participate for the prizes and hot dog eating glory. Each year, the competition which is hosted for both men and women participants holds around 20 competitors that include the defending champion, regional eating competition winners throughout the season, two wildcard entries, and a couple of guests that are invited by the MLE to participate.
Once all contestants are ready, they have to compete in a ten-minute time span to see who can eat the most hot dogs and buns, all while holding them in as well. If contestants don’t manage to eat every single hot dog put in their mouth they receive a yellow penalty card and if the contestants cannot manage to hold in their hot dogs for the duration of the competition they get a yellow penalty card which leads to automatic expulsion from the competition.
Ever since 2003 ESPN has broadcasted the competition every 4th of July, allowing it to become even more famous in the sports-entertainment circuit, with over 1.35 million viewers last season watching professional eating legend Joey Chestnut devoured 76 hot dogs in the allowed time while in the women’s category Michelle Lesco took down 30 ¾ hot dogs. Yes, you read it right, 76 and 30 ¾ hot dogs in 10 minutes.
So now you know, if hot dogs are your favorite food and you think you can eat like a professional eating star, think about giving Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest a shot.
Throughout the history of Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest many hot dog lovers have tried over and over again not only to win the competition but to try and beat the best hot dog eating record in the competition. Of course, while many have failed, there have been some others whose heroic wiener eating epics have made them become household names of the professional eating circuits not only in the United States but around the world.
When the competition first started it was always thought to be an all-American, traditional contest made more for the fun of it and publicity rather than anything else, but after seeing what kind of crowds and attention the competition started attracting, former amateur hot dog eaters started to take notice and began training and becoming actual athletes, who year after year would and still prepare for said event. This not only started causing more and more eating daredevils to want to take on Nathan’s challenge domestically but also internationally.
Just like in every other sporting event, rivalries tend to brew up which only makes for more entertainment, which is exactly what happened once Japan, and its own slew of professional eaters started to take notice of the competition. Beginning in 1986 with the first Japanese contestant appearing in the contest to challenge the American Champion and onwards, the rivalry between Japanese and American pro eaters has made for some excellent stories and competitions. But two names, in particular, stand out from the rest.
On the one hand, there’s Japanese eating superstar Takeru Kobayashi who dominated the event from 2001 to 2006 and then, his biggest rival and probably the most recognizable name and figure in the professional eating circuit, Joey Chestnut. With 14 belts under his name, Chestnut is considered the GOAT of professional eating and a bonafide legend in Nathan’s hot dog eating contest, making him the man to watch every single year.
One would think that the mere chance of being able to eat as many hot dogs is prize enough in a competition like this, but who are we kidding? At the end of it all, if there’s a winner there has to be a prize, a title, and a quantious amount of money to go along with it. When it comes to Nathan’s hot dog eating contest, contestants in both the men’s and women’s categories are all entitled to compete for the champion’s title belt and a money pool that goes up to $40,000 to be split between the winner and other top finishers in the competition.
Breaking the prize pool of this ever-so-famous Hot God contest works like this. While the winner of the male category gets an always coveted bejeweled yellow-mustard colored belt, resembling belts from events such as pro fights and pro wrestling, the victor in the female category gets awarded a just as important and also bejeweled pink belt. Each winner is allowed to keep the belt and take them home, wherever around the world home may be.
When it comes to money, while a shared prize pool of $40,000 for such an important might not seem as much, especially when we’re talking about the possibilities of the competition’s hot dog eating record are always lurking in the back with the condiments, the real money for contestants and above all winners come from sponsorship deals that come from being the winner of the most famous professional eating competition in the world. Still, though, the first place in both categories each year takes $10,000, while 2nd place takes $5,000, 3rd place $2,500, 4th place $1,500, and 5th place $1,000.
Have you ever stopped to wonder, how many hot dogs are too many hot dogs? Well, it all depends. Maybe you’re at a family or friend’s BBQ and decide to test your luck trying to prove that you can hang with the big boys of the pro eating competition circuit, but after four dogs you’re already calling it a day because at the end of the day, eating competitively is a whole different universe. This is exactly one of the most curiously attractive features that Nathan’s hot dog eating contest has that continues to draw more and more crowds year in and year out, seeing just how many hot dogs somebody will eat in order to leave home as champion and even probably the hot dogs eating record holder.
While the record for both men and women continuously fluctuates with some years having been stronger than others, there are two ways to measure that first question of just “how many hot dogs are too many hot dogs?” First, it’s the average. On average the winners of the most recent competitions have eaten between 70 to 75 hot dogs in the stated time of 10 minutes for men and from 32 to 38 hot dogs in the 10-minute margin of time for women. Secondly and most important is checking out the actual records.
For the men’s category, the record holder is none other than competitive food eating GOAT Joey Chestnut who in 2021 managed to eat 76 hot dogs to take home his 14th Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest title. For the women’s category, the record stands thanks to female pro-eating phenom Miki Sudo who in 2020 ate 48 ½ hot dogs to not just win the title but also crush the previous women’s record by a landslide.
The Nathan’s hot dog eating contest has gone from being a novelty act to attract a few customers here and there to eat hot dogs more often to becoming an actual sports entertainment event that is followed by many people all around the world. With a viewership of around 1,3 million people, of course it was a matter of time before the event would also become a darling for wagering fans all over. At the end of the day, betting on sports and sports entertainment events are largely in part an activity fueled by fun and interest to see how far an event like this will go, so of course that betting on the top hot dog contest time or the hot dog eating record is something that’s as easy as putting mustard on your dog and enjoying.
First thing you’re going to need in order to come up with a sound and successful hot dog contest betting strategy is to learn about the event you’re about to place some money on and see where the true value of your investment truly stands. Don’t just bet on a hot dog eating contest because it sounds funny, bet because you want to make money with it. If you end up winning, imagine how many hot dogs of your own you could get. Find yourself a top-tier sportsbook that offers great promotions all-year round for sporting and sports entertainment events, for example BetUS. After that, start doing research on the ins and outs of eating as many hot dogs in 10 minutes and how you as a bettor could make some money off said competition.
For example, the two most sound and easy ways to bet money on the Nathan’s hot dog eating contest are either to pick an outright winner, Joey Chestnut for example who always comes into said competition as the overwhelming favorite and also betting on the over and under of how many hot dogs each of the winners in both the men’s and women’s category will eat.
Yes, it’s as simple as that. You can bet on who will win and how many hot dogs the winners might end up eating in order to win. When it comes to betting on a hot dog contest, the options are not as plentiful as the options in a condiment bar, but just like when having a hot dog and dressing it with said condiments, sometimes having just a couple of strong and solid options will take you way further than trying a bit of everything and praying for the best. So, if you’re looking into the idea of getting your wagering fix on with the upcoming Nathan’s hot dog eating contest, make sure you did your hot dog homework and then try to go for it all.
If competitive eaters, like the ones that participate in Nathan’s hot dog eating contest got paid in accordance to how much they eat per competition, we would be talking about some of the highest-grossing sports entertainment performers in the world, but sadly that’s not the case.
Although professional eating competitions, ruled and overlooked by their respective authorities do have prize money pools for the winners of said competitions and the top finishers as well, professional eaters make the biggest part of their money from endorsement and sponsorship deals from different companies from all walks of life. While per competition a pro eater can make from $5,000 to $10,000 on average, with sponsorship and endorsement deals, the best eaters in the circuit can rake in around $250,000 to $500,000 per year.
In order to be a successful competitive eater, it’s not only a big appetite that will give pros an edge over their competition. Just like other sporting athletes in the world, professional competitive eaters go through some very rigorous physical and mental training regimes to prepare their bodies for the gargantuan task that is to eat as much food in a small window of time, like at Nathan’s hot dog eating contest.
For competitions such as the one at Nathan’s where all competitors go in with the mentality of beating the hot dog eating record and time, months of preparation before the competition come into play in a ginormous way. For example, many of the best pro-competitive eaters go through specific physical training plans that are focused on increasing the capacity in their stomachs and the elasticity as well, in order to be able to fit in as much food and drinks as possible in a small amount of time. While eating competitions can be taken as roman-style feasts of food and debauchery, for top competitors keeping a strict diet and a low percentage of body fat usually end up being pivotal keys to success.
In order to be able to bet and be successful with your hot dog contest wagering endeavors, first you need to find a sportsbook that not just carries the event in their schedule, but that also gives fans a plethora of bonuses, betting options and promotions with which to make sure they’re getting the best deal in town. BetUS sportsbook being a perfect example of that.
When a fan decides to take the plunge and bet on Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest, the best strategy is to keep up with previews, news and reports from previous competitions and who the eaters to watch will be.
Just like in any other sports entertainment event, when wanting to put some money into play, the best strategy is to do your homework first and then find what the best betting option for you ends up being.
Throughout the years and thanks to the popularity that Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest has acquired, many contestants have gone on to become house-hold names for not just eating competition lovers but fans of sports entertainment happenings as well.
Nowadays, when you talk about Nathan’s and the hot dog eating record, one name automatically comes to mind, Joey Chestnut. Chestnut, who is almost unanimously considered by many as the best professional competitive eater in the history of the discipline, continues year in and year out to dominate the hot dog contest on July 4th in Coney Island. On the women’s side Miki Sudo has become the female equivalent of Chestnut in the circuit, with her performances allowing her to become more and more of a celebrity.
Finding a betting strategy suited for an event as unique as Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest might be a gargantuan task all in itself. But at the end of the day wagering on a hot dog eating contest actually holds little science behind it. The main ways in which one bets on a competition like this one is picking the outright winner on both the man’s and woman’s category and picking the over or under of how many hot dogs each winner will devour on their way to the title.
Now, the best advice to give here is to make sure you look up information on the eaters, to see how they’ve fared in the competition before and why they are considered favorites, underdogs, sleepers or others. While there will always be heavy favorites like Chestnut on the men’s side and Sudo on the women’s side, there can always be a surprise eater coming out of nowhere, so always keep an eye out on every single detail.
Because Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest has become such a novelty and popular sports entertainment event in the yearly American sporting calendar, many of the top online sportsbooks around usually offer their own slew of betting options for the competition. This of course has made it so much easier for betting fans and fans of this particular eating competition to be able to wager their money on the event and make some extra cash here and there, all from hot dogs.
But, in all realness, if you’re looking for the best option, look no further than BetUS. Given that it’s America’s favorite sportsbook, what could be more American than betting on the most famous hot dog contest in the world with the best online sportsbook in America. They go just right, like a hot dog and mustard.