July 4, 2011

Joey Chestnut of San Jose, CA and Sonya Thomas of Alexandria, VA earned the titles of Men’s and Women’sHot Dog Eating World Champions yesterday at the Nathan’s FamousFourth of July International Hot Dog Eating Contest, held annually atthe original Nathan’s Famous in Coney Island.

Chestnut,the #1-ranked eater in the world, returned to the corner of Surf andStillwell avenues to claim his fifth straight Nathan’s Famous titleby devouring 62 hot dogs and buns in the 10-minute, all-you-can-eatcontest. He edged out Chicago’s Pat “Deep Dish” Bertoletti, whocame in second place with 53 hot dogs and buns, and New York City’sTim “Eater X” Janus who ate 45 hot dogs and buns for third. Bob“Notorious B.O.B.” Shoudt of Royersford, PA captured fourth with39 and Sean “Flash” Gordon of Downingtown, PA and 18-year-oldMatt Stonie of San Jose, CA tied for fifth with 34.

Inthe first-ever Women’s Championship, which occurred just prior tothe men’s contest, Thomas downed 40 hot dogs and buns for the win.Juliet Lee, a mother of two from Germantown, MD placed second with29.5 hot dogs and buns, and rookie Stephanie Torres of Las Cruces, NMtook home third with 28.5 hot dogs and buns. Fourth prize went toMichelle Lesco of Tuscon, AZ who ate 20 and Larell Marie Mele of LongPond, PA captured fifth prize with 16.

Theevent has been held each year since 1916 and for the first time ever,male and female eaters competed separately for the titles of Men’sHot Dog Eating World Champion and Women’s Hot Dog Eating WorldChampion. The contests offered a total of $40,000 in cash prizes.

The2011 Men’s and Women’s Championships took place at the originalNathan’s Famous in Coney Island where nearly 30,000 eating fans andJuly Fourth revelers watched the contest. The event has become partof the fabric of America’s annual July Fourth celebration, and wasonce again televised live on ESPN from 12:00 pm to 1:00 pm EST andstreamed online at from 11:30 a.m.

Nathan’sFamous congratulates our first-ever Women’s Champion, Sonya Thomasand our Men’s Champion Joey Chestnut for his fifth straight win,”said Wayne Norbitz, president and COO of Nathan’s Famous, Inc.“This year we were thrilled to have added the Women’sChampionship and to welcome competitors from China for the very firsttime.”

Thecompetitors earned their seats at the finals by winning one of adozen qualifying rounds that occurred in May and June throughout theU.S. and in Beijing, China. At yesterday’s contest, a total of 17male competitors battled for the coveted Mustard Yellow Belt,considered the “World Cup” of Major League Eating. Yat Ming Lam,Lu Ming Kui, and Tai Loi Mak, representing China, were also among thecontenders. Nine women competed in the Women’s Championship.


Joey Chestnut 68 HD&B

Sonya Thomas 45 HD&B