Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest

Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest

Started Year
: Competitive eating
Current Champion
: Matt Stonie (Men's),Miki Sudo (Women's)

History Of Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest

The Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest is an annual American hot dog competitive eating competition. It is held each year on Independence Day at Nathan's Famous Corporation's original, and best-known restaurant at the corner of Surf and Stillwell Avenues in Coney Island, a neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York City.

The contest has gained public attention in recent years due to the stardom of Takeru Kobayashi and Joey Chestnut. The current champion is Matt Stonie.


The winner of the men's competition is given possession of the coveted international "bejeweled" mustard-yellow belt. The belt is of "unknown age and value" according to IFOCE co-founder George Shea and rests in the country of its owner. In 2011, Sonya Thomas won the inaugural women's competition and its "bejeweled" pink belt.

Various other prizes have been awarded over the years. For example, in 2004 Orbitz donated a travel package to the winner. Starting in 2007, cash prizes have been awarded to the top finishers.

Film and TV programs:

  • The Nathan's contest has been featured in these documentaries and televisual programs:
  • "A Different Story" (July 4, 1996) - Jeannie Moos covers the contest on CNN
  • "Red, White, and Yellow" (1998)
  • "A Hot Dog Program: An All-American, Culinary Cruise Through Hot Dog History" (1999)
  • "Gut Busters" (2002) Made for TV - Discovery Channel
  • "Footlong" (2002) - not the 2003 short film of the same name
  • "The Tsunami - Takeru Kobayashi" (2003) Japanese
  • "Crazy Legs Conti: Zen and the Art of Competitive Eating" (2004)
  • "The Most Extreme", "Big Mouths" episode (2004) (Animal Planet)
  • Cheap Seats, (2004)
  • "True Life" (2006) MTV documentary series
  • "Hungry (2013) documentary film-contract dispute between Nathan's Famous and Kobayashi


News sources typically use puns in head-lines and copy referring to the contest, such as "'Tsunami' is eating contest's top dog again," "couldn't cut the mustard" (A.P.), "Nathan's King ready, with relish" (Daily News) and "To be frank, Fridge faces a real hot-dog consumer" (ESPN).

Reporter Gersh Kuntzman of the New York Post has been covering the event since the early 1990s and has been a judge at the competition since 2000. Darren Rovell, formerly of ESPN, has competed in a qualifier.

Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest Archieve

  • 2015-Matt Stonie (Men's),Miki Sudo (Women's)
  • 2014-Joey Chestnut (Men's),Miki Sudo (Women's)
  • 2013-Joey Chestnut (Men's),Sonya Thomas (Women's)
  • 2012-Joey Chestnut (Men's),Sonya Thomas (Women's)
  • 2011-Joey Chestnut (Men's),Sonya Thomas (Women's)
  • 2010-Joey Chestnut
  • 2009-Joey Chestnut
  • 2008-Joey Chestnut
  • 2007-Joey Chestnut
  • 2006-Takeru Kobayashi
  • 2005-Takeru Kobayashi
  • 2004-Takeru Kobayashi
  • 2003-Takeru Kobayashi
  • 2002-Takeru Kobayashi
  • 2001-Takeru Kobayashi
  • 2000-Kazutoyo Arai
  • 1999-Steve Keiner
  • 1998-Hirofumi Nakajima
  • 1997-Hirofumi Nakajima
  • 1996-Ed Krachie
  • 1995-Ed Krachie
  • 1994-Mike Devito
  • 1993-Mike Devito
  • 1992-Frank Dellarosa
  • 1991-Frank Dellarosa
  • 1990-Mike Devito
  • 1989-Jay Green
  • 1988-Jay Green
  • 1987-Don Wolfman
  • 1986-Mark Heller
  • 1985-Oscar Rodriguez
  • 1984-Birgit Felden
  • 1983-Emil Gomez
  • 1982-Steven Abrams
  • 1981-Thomas DeBerry
  • 1980-Paul Siederman
  • 1979-Thomas Stash
  • 1978-Manel Hollenback,Kevin Sinclair
  • 1974-Roberto Muriel
  • 1972-Jason Schechter