Nathan's Increases Women's July 4th Prize Purse to $20,000

Womenís Purse to Match Menís Purse at $20,000

Nathanís Famous, Inc. announced that the prize purse for the first-ever womenís division contest at the 2011 Nathanís Famous July Fourth International Hot Dog-Eating Contest will be raised to $20,000, the same amount as the purse for the menís division.

ďWe were contacted by numerous fans of Nathanís who pointed out that despite the prize disparity in menís and womenís divisions of other professional sports, the Nathanís prizes should be the same,Ē said Wayne Norbitz, president and COO of Nathanís Famous, Inc. ďWe listened to the input and we raised the womenís purse from $5,000 to $20,000.Ē

The Nathanís Famous qualifying circuit will visit more than a dozen cities over three months, and the top finishing female and male competitor from each qualifier will win a chance to compete at the finals in Coney Island. Stephanie Torres won the Las Vegas qualifier this past weekend, eating 23 hot dogs and buns in 10 minutes to earn a spot in Coney Island on July 4.

Sonya ďThe Black WidowĒ Thomas of Alexandria, VA, is considered most likely to win the July 4 womenís division event. Ranked number four in the world by Major League Eating, Sonya has beaten male eaters in foods ranging from oysters to hard-boiled eggs, and her personal best at Nathanís is 41 hot dogs and buns in 10 minutes.

Eaters expected to give Sonya a run for her money this year are Juliet Lee, a cranberry sauce-eating champion from Maryland, and Larell Marie Mele, a personal trainer from Pennsylvania who entered the scene in 2010 and registered an impressive rookie year.

In recent years, an estimated 40,000 fans have made the pilgrimage to the corner of Surf and Stillwell Avenues in Coney Island to watch the Nathanís Famous July Fourth Hot Dog Eating Contest in person. The live ESPN telecast of the event drew an audience of 1.7 million viewers in 2010. Joey Chestnut of San Jose, CA holds the world record for eating 68 Nathanís Famous Hot Dogs and Buns in 10 minutes, and he will seek his fifth straight title this year.

About Nathanís Famous
Nathanís products are currently distributed in 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, the Cayman Islands and five foreign countries through its restaurant system, foodservice sales programs and retail licensing activities. The Nathanís restaurant system currently consists of 268 units, comprised of 263 franchised or licensed units and five company-owned units (including one seasonal unit). For additional information about Nathanís please visit