Joey ďJawsĒ Chestnut Seeks to Set New World Record

Nathanís Famous, Inc. has unveiled the official list of 12 cities to hold hot dog-eating contests to qualify the champions who will compete in the 98th annual Nathanís Famous Fourth of July International Hot Dog-Eating Contest. The Nathanís Famous qualifying tour is conducted each year in cities across the U.S. and beyond.

For the first time ever, Nathanís Famous will launch the 2013 tour with a qualifying event on Saturday, March 23, at 1 p.m., at its Coney Island boardwalk restaurant as part of opening-weekend celebrations for Coney Island. The original Nathanís in Coney Island will be open and ready to go for the 2013 summer season despite the enormous damage it suffered from Hurricane Sandy last year.

Qualifying events also will occur at Nathanís Famous retail locations, state festivals, city centers and Major League ballparks. Host cities of the 2013 Nathanís Famous Hot Dog Eating Circuit include Brooklyn, NY; Las Vegas, NV; Boston, MA; Naples, FL; St. Paul, MN; Queens, NY, Miami, FL; Atlanta, GA; Pittsburgh, PA; Savannah, GA; Calgary, Alberta; and at New Jersey State Fair at Meadowlands.

The top male and top female finishers from each qualifier will earn a trip to compete at the ESPN televised finals at the original Nathanís Famous in Coney Island on July Fourth. This yearís ESPN show will air on July 4th at 1PM Eastern.

ďThe annual qualifying circuit enables us to bring a genuine taste of Coney Island to cities near and far, and I am especially pleased weíll be hosting our first qualifying event on the boardwalk at Coney Island,Ē said Wayne Norbitz, President and COO of Nathanís Famous, Inc. ďThere is no better way to show our commitment to Coney Island and all its businesses, residents and fans than to kick off the summer season with a great event on the boardwalk,Ē

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 Fourth of July Hot Dog-Eating Contest in person. The ESPN telecast of the event drew an audience of over 1 million viewers in 2012. It is anticipated that Nathanís Famous will make a donation of 100,000 Nathanís Famous hot dogs to the Food Bank for New York City, as it does each year.

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 seventh straight title this year Ė a world record. Sonya Thomas of Alexandria, VA, will defend her title as Female Champion. She consumed 45 Hot Dogs and Buns in 10 minutes last year, setting a new womenís world record.

According to archives, the Nathanís Famous International Hot Dog Eating Contest has occurred each July 4th in Coney Island, NY since 1916, the year Nathan Handwerker opened the legendary restaurant. Major League Eating, the governing body of all stomach-centric sport, sanctions the Nathanís Famous Hot Dog Eating Circuit and ensures the contests are judged professionally and that safety standards are in place at each event.

Those interested in competing in a Nathanís Famous qualifier should visit to obtain information and register. All competitors must be over 18 years of age.

Official Listing Of The 2013 Nathanís Famous Qualifiers

March 23: Coney Island, NY (Coney Island Boardwalk at Stillwell Ave)
April 6: Savannah, GA (Drayton Street at East Bay Street)
April 13: Miami, FL (Kmart at 3825 7th St NW)
April 20: Las Vegas, NV (New York, New York Hotel and Casino)
May 4: Naples, FL (Mercatoís Outdoor Lawn)
June 2: St. Paul, MN (Dixieís Stage at 695 Grand Ave)
June 8: Calgary, Alberta (Cross Iron Mills Mall)
June 12: Pittsburgh, PA (Market Square at Market Street and Forbes Avenue)
June 15: Atlanta, GA (Cypress Pint & Plate)
June 22: Boston, MA (Phantom Gourmet BBQ Beach Party
June 29: Queens, NY (Plaza at Citi Field)
June 29: East Rutherford, NJ (Meadowlands)

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 six foreign countries through its restaurant system, foodservice sales programs and product licensing activities. The Nathanís restaurant system currently consists of 302 units, comprised of 297 franchised units and five company-owned units (including one seasonal unit). Additionally, Nathanís Famous hot dogs are sold in over 25,000 retail and foodservice locations. Last year, in total, over 430 million Nathanís hot dogs were sold. For additional information about Nathanís please visit our website