American competitive-eating competition, Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest is held each July 4 at Nathan’s Famous Corporation’s original, and best-known restaurant at the corner of Surf and Stillwell Avenues in Coney Island, New York. In 2011 over 40,000 spectators attended the event, and an additional 1.949 million viewers watched it live on ESPN television when Joey Chestnut ate 62 hot dogs and buns.
The contest has gained public attention in recent years due to the sudden stardom of Takeru Kobayashi, his subsequent rivalry with American Joey Chestnut, and the current controversy over Kobayashi’s contractual dispute and absence. In the ninety-seventh annual contest, held on July 4, 2012, five-time-defending champion Chestnut won his record-tying sixth title by consuming a record-tying 68 hot dogs and buns (HDBs) in ten minutes. Winners receive a trophy, two cases of Nathan’s Famous hot dogs, the famous Nathan’s Belt (yellow for men’s competition, and pink for women’s competition), and in some years a nonmonetary prize donated by a sponsor. In 2007, for the first time, cash prizes were awarded to the winners.