Joey Takes July 4 with New Record
Joey Chestnut today won 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, closely followed by Eater X. (Complete results later.)
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.