Joey Chestnut sets world record with 74 hot dogs at Nathan's Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest; third straight win and 11th in 12 years

Joey Chestnut is a champion once again. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)
Joey Chestnut is a champion once again. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)

The dominance continues, and there’s no end in sight.

Joey Chestnut has won the 2018 Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest — his third straight championship — and set a world record in the process. The 34-year-old Kentucky native stuffed down 74 hot dogs and buns in 10 minutes on a sweltering day on Coney Island, claiming his 11th win in the past 12 years. He won by 11 hot dogs and buns.

Chestnut started and finished strong

Through the first quarter of the contest, Chestnut was finishing his 18th hot dog and bun, caught in a tight race with several other competitors, including 2015 champion Matt Stonie.

But Chestnut separated himself over the next few minutes displaying unparalleled eating endurance. He kept up a pace of roughly seven hot dogs and buns per minute. All other competitors simply couldn’t keep up, and Chestnut opened up a double-digit lead about halfway through the 10-minute race. He continued to stretch the lead down the stretch at a ravenous pace finishing with 74 hot dogs, a dominant, 11-hot-dog-and-bun margin over second-place finisher Carmen Cincotti.

Chestnut’s dominance continues

In 2007, Chestnut shocked the world when he ate a then-world record 66 hot dogs and buns, unseating then-six-time defending champ Takeru Kobayashi of Japan. Since then, he’s been absolutely dominant, winning 11 of the past 12 competitions. The only time he failed to win was 2015. His 74 hot dogs this year break the record 73.5, also held by Chestnut.

Controversy at Coney

Originally, the count was 64 hot dogs, but Chestnut was adamant that he downed 74 in his post-contest interview. After a lengthy review, it was determined the counters missed a plate, and Chestnut ate 74, not 64. It’s a strange way to set a world record, but it’s a world record nevertheless.

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