nathans hot dog eating contest

Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest: How to Watch and What to Know

Competitive eating legends Joey Chestnut and Miki Sudo headline this year's event

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Some people will enjoy their Fourth of July by eating a hot dog or two. 

But a select few will be downing dozens of them in a span of 10 minutes.

The 2022 Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest is set for the Fourth of July in Brooklyn, New York. This year’s event is headlined by a pair of competitive eating legends, as Joey Chestnut looks to once again successfully defend his men’s Mustard Belt and Miki Sudo makes her highly-anticipated return to the women’s competition. 

From how to watch, contest records and much more, here’s what you need to know about the 2022 Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest:

When is the 2022 Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest?

The Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest is scheduled for Monday, July 4.

What time does the 2022 Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest start?

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The women’s competition gets underway at 10:45 a.m. ET, while the men’s event starts at 12 p.m.

Where is the 2022 Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest?

The contest will be returning to Nathan’s Famous original restaurant on the Coney Island boardwalk in Brooklyn after two years away from the venue. Due to the pandemic, the contest was held at Maimonides Park, home of the Brooklyn Cyclones, in 2021 and at a private indoor NYC location in 2020.

What TV channel is the 2022 Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest on?

ESPN3 will show the women’s contest, while on-air coverage will begin on ESPNews at 12 p.m. ET.

Can I stream the 2022 Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest?

You can stream all of the hot dog eating action on ESPN.com and the ESPN app.

How does the Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest work?

The object of the contest is simple: eat as many hot dogs and buns as you can in 10 minutes. Here’s a look at some of the main parameters the competitors must follow:

  • A whole hot dog and bun (HDB) must be consumed to receive a full point. However, partially-eaten HDBs are also counted in eighths
  • Utensils cannot be used
  • Water is provided, but other non-alcoholic beverages are allowed
  • Hot dogs and buns can be dipped into a beverage, but for no longer than five seconds
  • If a competitor vomits they are disqualified

How much money does the Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest winner make?

In addition to receiving a WWE-like Mustard Belt, the women’s and men’s competition winners also walk away with prize money.

Last year’s Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest had a $40,000 purse, with $10,000 going to the winners, $5,000 to second place, $2,500 to third place, $1,500 to fourth place and $1,000 to fifth place. It’s unclear if this year’s purse will be the same size.

When was the first Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest?

The first recorded Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest was held at the Coney Island location in 1972, according to Nathan’s Famous. The competition has taken place nearly every year since, typically on Independence Day. It became officially sanctioned by Major League Eating in 1997.

What is the record for hot dogs eaten at the Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest?

Joey “Jaws” Chestnut, the world’s No. 1-ranked eater, is coming off a world-record-setting performance in 2021 when he ate 76 HDBs in 10 minutes. He topped his own world record of 75, which he set in 2020. Chestnut has eaten at least 70 HDBs in six consecutive contests.

Miki Sudo, the world’s No. 1-ranked female eater and No. 3-ranked eater overall, set the women’s record in 2020 when she downed 48.5 HDBs, besting Sonya Thomas’ previous record mark of 45.

How many times has Joey Chestnut won the Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest?

The 38-year-old Chestnut is the six-time defending champion and owns a record 14 Mustard Belts. 

Since dethroning six-time defending champ Takeru Kobayashi for his first victory in 2007, Chestnut has lost just once. That lone defeat came in 2015, when Matt Stonie edged out Chestnut by two HDBs. The closest anyone has come to beating Chestnut since then was in 2017 when Carmen Cincotti finished in second place by 10 HDBs. Chestnut's last two victories were landslides, as he won by 33 HDBs in 2020 and 26 last year.

Hot dogs aren’t the only thing Chestnut is elite at consuming either. According to Major League Eating, Chestnut’s long list of world records includes eating 182 chicken wings in 30 minutes, 53 soft beef Taco Bell tacos in 10 minutes and 55 glazed donuts in eight minutes.

How many times has Miki Sudo won the Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest?

There was a winner other than Miki Sudo in the women’s competition last year for the first time since 2013. But that may have only been due to Sudo sitting out the event due to pregnancy. 

Michelle Lesco, ranked No. 2 among female eaters and No. 9 overall, captured the 2021 title with 30.75 HDBs eaten, a mark the 36-year-old Sudo has cleared in all seven of her career victories. To beat out Sudo and repeat as champion, the 38-year-old Lesco might have to improve on her 2021 showing.

Lesco (one title), Sudo (seven titles) and Sonya Thomas (three titles) are the only winners of the women’s event since it debuted in 2011. Women and men competed in the same contest prior to 2011.

Sudo, like Chestnut, owns multiple eating records, including 16.5 pints of vanilla ice cream consumed in six minutes.

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