Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest New York City

Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest in New York City

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Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest in New York City 2009

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Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest in New York City

Other events in July 2009

July 4, 2009

Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest 2007

Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest 2008

The Nathan’s International July Fourth Hot Dog Eating Contest is an annual competitive eating competition held at Nathan’s Famous Corporation’s original and best-known restaurant at the corner of Surf and Stillwell Avenues in Coney Island, Brooklyn, New York. The event is held on July 4 and is regarded as the world’s most famous hot dog eating contest and a colorful tradition of Independence Day in the United States.

The ninety-fifth annual contest was held on July 4, 2009. Three-time defending champion Joey Chestnut successfully defended his title by consuming 54 hot dogs and buns (HDBs) in 10 minutes.
Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest
Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest


Only adults 18 years or older who fulfill one of the following four conditions may compete:

* Being the reigning champion
* Winning a regional qualifying contest for that season
* Qualifying as the season’s wildcard (highest average qualifier score without winning a single qualifer)
* Special invitation by IFOCE

During the event, the field of about 20 contestants stands on a raised platform behind a 30-foot-long table with drinks and Nathan’s Famous hot dogs in buns. Most contestants drink water, but other kinds of drinks can and have been used. Condiments are allowed, but are usually not used. The hot dogs themselves are allowed to cool slightly after grilling to prevent possible mouth burns. Whomever consumes (and keeps down) the most hot dogs and buns (“HDBs”) in twelve minutes is declared the winner. A designated scorekeeper is paired with each contestant who flips a number board counting the hot dogs consumed. Partially eaten hot dogs count and the granularity of measurement is eighths of a length. Hot dogs still in the mouth at the end of the 12 minutes count only if they are swallowed. There can be deductions in score for excess HDB debris. Both hands may be used. After the winner is declared, a plate with the number of hot dogs eaten by the winner is brought out.


Joey Chestnut retains title at the Nathan’s Famous July Fourth International Eating Contest by eating 68 hot dogs and buns in 10 minutes, 3 1/2 more than Takeru Kobayashi of Japan, his arch-rival.
Patrick Bertoletti consumed 55 HDBs in 10 minutes to place third.
A record crowd assembled at the corner of Surf and Stillwell avenues in Coney Island under clear blue skies for the event, which was aired live on ESPN. Police unofficially estimated the crowd to be 40,000.
A highlight of the event was the Coney Island Strongman, who performed a death-defying feat on a bed of nails, placing an anvil on his chest and allowing his sons to hit it with sledgehammers.
Four different Ringling acts also captivated the audience, a remarkable number of whom had travelled from great distances to attend the event. Sonya Thomas set a new record for females by eating 41 HDBs — a record in both the 10- and 12-minute HDB-eating disciplines.

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