There’s a new champion at the Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest, and he is known in competitive eating circles as “Megatoad.” Matt Stonie ended Joey Chestnut’s eight-year title reign at the annual Fourth of July event by eating 62 hot dogs in 10 minutes. Chestnut finished with 60.
“This is crazy,” Stonie said to ESPN. “Joey is an amazing competitor. He’s a legend of the sport. To beat him by a couple of hot dogs this year is … I trained hard for this. I can’t say I came in confident, but I came prepared.
“I’ve just had an amazing year so far. We worked hard for this, and my body was working for me this year.”
In February, Stonie set a world record in bacon by eating 182 slices in five minutes.
With a minute left in this year’s Nathan’s event, Stonie led 57-54 and held on to win. Chestnut had a feeling this could be the year for Stonie, a 23-year-old native of San Jose, who also finished second in 2013 and closed the gap from 69-51 to 61-56 in 2014.
“I just didn’t find my rhythm,” Chestnut said to ESPN. “I can’t take anything away from him. He ate 62 hot dogs. I did bad. He deserved to win. It gives me reason to definitely come back next year. I’ve been looking for competition for a long time. Now I have it. Now he’s made me hungry.”
Takeru Kobayashi was the runnerup in Chestnut’s first three Nathan’s championships. But Kobayashi hasn’t competed in the Nathan’s competition since 2010 after refusing to sign an exclusive contract with Major League Eating.
Miki Sudo, a 29-year-old from Las Vegas, repeated as the women’s champion by eating 38 hot dogs in 10 minutes.