Eating Titans Take on Heaps of Hot Dogs at 2018 Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog Contest

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Takeru Kobayashi, of Nagano, Japan, right, and Sonya Thomas, of Alexandria, Va., left, are given more hotdogs while competing in the Nathan's Famous Fourth of July International Hot Dog Eating contest, Monday, July 4, 2005, in the Brooklyn borough of New York. Kobayashi won the contest by eating 49 hot dogs in 12 minutes and Thomas came in second by eating 37 hot dogs.
Joey “Jaws” Chestnut set the world record last year, downing a whopping 72 frankfurters and buns in 10 minutes.
Sonya “The Black Widow” Thomas (left) is the women’s record-holder. Her record is 45 buns and franks, but last year she only managed 30. We'll be watching closely to see if she can win back the title this year.
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Miki Sudo stole the competition from The Black Widow last year, downing an impressive 41 franks and buns. She’s back this year seeking her fifth women’s title.
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Vomiting during the competition will end in disqualification (if the regurgitation touches the table or their plate), and eaters can also be penalized for messy eating. But after the competition ends, eaters can relieve themselves however they like.
If the competition did come down to a tie, the winner would be decided through a five-dog eat off. If that doesn’t find a winner, a one-hot dog round of sudden death is called.
There’s big money in the big hot dog scramble. Whoever scoffs the most dogs and buns within ten minutes stands to win a portion of a total prize purse of $40,000.
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While it may seem ridiculous, the competition is overseen by an international governing body called Major League Eating. It puts on about 80 events per year and works closely with professional eaters.
The competition can be controversial. Last year, animal rights activists tried to unfold a banner amid the crowd. Five protesters were taken into custody for questioning and released.
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