Two New World Records Set at Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest
Joey Chestnut ate 75 dogs and buns in 10 minutes, while Miki Sudo set a new women’s record.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2020 Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest looked very different from the event in previous years. But for the top two hot dog eaters in the game, the results were record-breaking business as usual.
Perennial champion Joey Chestnut cruised to his fifth straight victory, and 13th win in the past 14 years, by breaking his own hot dog eating world record by a single dog—finishing at 75 dogs and buns in ten minutes. Meanwhile, Miki Sudo set a new women’s record on route to her seventh straight Nathan’s win.
Chestnut trounced a coronavirus-reduced field during the first-ever indoor edition of the Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest. Only five competitors were allowed into the event this year—down from the usual 15—to allow for social distancing. The pandemic also meant that Matt Stonie—one of the highest profile members of Major League Eating, a YouTube sensation, and also the last person to defeat Chestnut (back in 2015)—did not attend. But Chestnut probably would have had this year’s contest in the bag regardless, not just beating number two finisher Darron Breeden by 33 dogs, but also by besting his own hot dog record from 2018 by a single hot dog.
“It was hard,” Chestnut said according to ESPN, which aired the event. “I knew I was fast in the beginning. It was like blistering speed. And the dogs were cooked really well today. Minute six is where I really missed the crowd [. . .] and I hit a wall, and it took me a little bit more work to get through it. This is a crazy year, and I'm happy I was able to get a record.”
In the lead-up to the event, Chestnut had posited that the adjustments being made due to COVID-19 may make a new record easier. “There's a little bit of a bonus 'cause we're gonna be eating in air conditioning and they're less eaters, so they're making less hot dogs so they might taste better,” he told TMZ Sports a couple weeks ago.
Speaking of which, for the women, Sudo also set a new world record—48.5 hot dogs—besting the old record of 45 set by women’s legend Sonya Thomas in 2013.
Sudo absolutely ran away with the title: Number two finisher Larell Marie Mele downed just 16 dogs. “I feel great,” Sudo was quoted as saying after the event. “I'm sure the physical effects will kick in in a little bit. I think the condensed preparation period really lit a fire under me.”
Both Chestnut and Sudo earned a prize of $10,000 for their efforts.