Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest: Joey Chestnut takes home Mustard Belt for 12th time

Eleven-time and defending men's champion Joey Chestnut participates in Nathan's Famous International Fourth of July hot dog eating contest weigh-in at the Empire State Building on Wednesday, July 3, 2019, in New York.
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Eleven-time and defending men's champion Joey Chestnut participates in Nathan's Famous International Fourth of July hot dog eating contest weigh-in at the Empire State Building on Wednesday, July 3, 2019, in New York.

Credit: Evan Agostini/Invision/AP

Credit: Evan Agostini/Invision/AP

Update 12:57 p.m. EDT July 4: Joey Chestnut has won his 12th Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest.

Chestnut ate 71 hot dogs in 10 minutes.

Original story: Nathan's Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest is almost as much of a tradition as the fireworks on the Fourth of July.

But will reigning champion Joey Chestnut be able to keep his Mustard Belt? Or will he be dethroned?

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He's being challenged by Carmen Cincotti and Matt Stonie.

As for the women's champion, Miki Sudo hoisted the Mustard Belt Thursday morning. It was her sixth consecutive win, eating 31 hot dogs and beating Michelle Lesco, who ate 26, CBS News reported. Last year Sudo inhaled 37 dogs.

No matter who wins, the history of the event is the same.

The official Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest, and first recorded one, has been held at the original Coney Island location of Nathan's Hot Dogs on Independence Day since 1972. But some say the very first contest was in 1916, according to Nathan's company officials.

More than 40,000 fans come to the boardwalk to watch it in person, with millions watching it live on television.

Chestnut has the record for eating the most hot dogs - downing 73 or about 16 pounds. He ate 12,000 calories in 10 minutes when he broke the record in 2013.

Over the years, competitors had eaten 1,509 hot dogs and buns before you add the 2019 totals.

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

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The History of Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest

Credit: DaytonDailyNews