Nathan's Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest in Coney Island— A $20,000 Prize to the WinnerFor decades, the Coney Island hot dog eating contest, sponsored by Nathan's Famous hot dogs, at the site of their original store near the Atlantic Ocean boardwalk and Coney Island's Cyclone roller coaster, has been a July 4th favorite. Since 2010, when competition was doubled, there's both a women's and a men's division. About 40,000 onlookers watch as a roster of preselected competitors stuff as many hotdogs into themselves as then can in ten minutes. The prize? $20,000 cash, for each division.
How Many Hot Dogs Do They Eat?? How many hot dogs can a human consume in ten minutes? The record is 68 hot dogs and buns in ten minutes.
What's the Prize? The prize is $20,000 in cash for both men and women winners. That ain't peanuts!
Can I Show Up & Participate in this Coney Island Hot Dog Contest? No. The contestants are selected beforehand. Not everyone can join in and slow eaters need not apply! You have to be able to stuff a more than a few dozen dogs into your mouth in a period of ten minutes. (See above, How Many?)
Is there a Women's Competition? Yes! There's a "women's division," since 2011.
Who Can Eat That Much, Anyway? According to Nathan's Famous spokesperson, "30 eaters from around the world, including four-time Nathan’s Famous champ Joey “Jaws” Chestnut of San Jose, CA and the women’s division favorite, 100-pound eating phenom Sonya “The Black Widow” Thomas of Alexandria, VA. Chestnut and Thomas hold the men’s and women’s hot dog eating world records with 68 hot dogs and buns and 41 hot dogs and buns, respectively."
Interestingly, most of the winners are competitive athletes. Sonya Thomas weighs 100 lbs. One of the male contestants does triathlon competitions.
(And though it's rude to ask, apparently yes, they do keep all that food down after the mouth-stuffing competition is over.)When and Where to See Nathans Famous July Fourth Hot Dog Eating Contest in Coney Island
If you can't see the contestants, you can watch it on a jumbo-tron screen. Directions to Nathans Famous July 4th Hot Dog Eating Contest in Coney Island