The Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest is held at the corner of Surf and Stillwell Avenues on Coney Island each year on July 4, and this year, DraftKings is offering a free entry to a DraftKings Sportsbook Pool that will hand out $25K in prizes for answering a series of questions about the contest.
Legend has it that the first hot dog eating contest on Coney Island took place back on July 4, 1916, when four immigrants gathered at the very first Nathan’s Famous hot dog stand and competed to see who was the most patriotic by eating the most hot dogs. The competition has come a long way since then and is now the lynchpin of the entire sport of Major League Eating, which has sanctioned this world-famous event since 1997.
Since 2008, the Hot Dog Eating Contest has been 10 minutes long, and last year the event was moved indoors for the first time ever due to COVID-19 concerns. Despite the lack of crowds cheering competitors on, World Records were set in both the men’s and women’s events. What should we expect this year with the event headed back to its normal spot and venue? Let’s break it down by looking at the questions that are part of the free DraftKings Sportsbook pool.
To play the free $25K pool, head over to the DraftKings Sportsbook Pools page. The event starts at 12 p.m. ET on July 4 and the pool locks at 12:45 p.m. ET.
Check out the America’s Block Party page for more info on all the events, free-to-play pools, and betting markets rolling out over the weekend
Who will win the Men’s Championship?
Joey Chestnut has won this event five straight times and in 13 of the last 14 years. He set the world record with 75 hot dogs and buns in 10 minutes last year. That’s one hot dog and bun every eight seconds and a total of about 16 pounds of meat! The reason he seems almost a lock to win this year once again is not only his track record of success, but that he had such a huge margin of victory last year. Darron Breeden finished second, but only managed to eat 42 hot dogs and buns. While that’s impressive as a total, it’s barely half of what Chestnut wolfed down.
Over the past few months, Chestnut took losses in Major League Eating contests sponsored by DraftKings at the Halloween Candy Bowl, Big Game Snackdown and the Red Carpet Film Feast, but that’s nothing like taking down the Champ in this contest which he has dominated for so many years. His one loss in this competition since 2007 came in 2015 when Matt Stonie edged him 62-60. Stonie couldn’t compete last year but did just set the world record for Popcorn eating with 28.5 24 oz. servings in eight minutes at the Film Feast. Geoffrey Esper has also posted some strong results lately (more on that later), but there has been such a wide gap in recent years that I don’t see anyone taking the Mustard Belt from Chestnut this year.
Choice: Joey Chestnut
Who will win the Women’s Championship?
Unlike the Men’s Championship where there is a clear favorite, the women’s side is wide open since seven-time defending champion and world record holder Miki Sudo is not competing this year after announcing she and fellow competitive eater Nick Wehry are expecting their first child. Only Sudo and Sonya Thomas have ever won the women’s event since it began in 2011.
The top three options who are competing are Michelle Lesco, Sarah Rodriguez and Larell Marie Mele with any other contestant also a prop option. Last year, Mele finished a distant second behind Sudo’s 48.5 hot dogs with 18 of her own. Lesco was unable to compete last season but finished runner-up in the previous three seasons with over 26 hot dogs and buns in each competition. If she puts up that kind of number again, it should be enough to win this year. She is the top-ranked female in the competition coming into the contest at No. 9 in the MLE World Rankings.
Choice: Michelle Lesco
Will the existing record of 75 Nathan’s Famous hot dogs and buns in 10 minutes be broken on July 4th?
Will the existing women’s record of 48.5 Nathan’s Famous hot dogs and buns in 10 minutes be broken on July 4th?
Both these world records were set last year indoors with no crowd. Being back outside on what is expected to be a very hot day on Coney Island will make things trickier for the contestants. They may get an added boost from the raucous crowd, but I don’t think that will compensate for the change in the environment.
While both records are extremely impressive, the women’s records seems especially safe this season since Sudo is the only competitor in the history of the contest to reach more than 36, and as mentioned above, she isn’t competing this season.
How many Men’s contestants will eat 50 or more hot dogs and buns in 10 minutes?
The winning number has been at least 50 in every year since 2006, so it would be a big surprise if the number of competitors reaching 50 was zero. Only twice during that span has there only been one contestant over 50, including last year when Breeden’s 42 was good enough for second place. There has also never been more than four eaters over 50 in a single competition, so it seems that “2-3” is the strongest play based on past history. In fact, dating back to Chestnut’s first win in 2007, “2-3” would have been the right selection in 11-of-14 (79%) of the contests.
Where will Geoffrey Esper finish in the Men’s Championship?
Esper didn’t compete last season but does have a good career history in this event, finishing third in 2019, fourth in 2018, fourth in 2017, fifth in 2016 and seventh in 2015. He is the second-ranked competitive eater in the world and has beaten Chestnut head-to-head in several recent competitions. He won the DraftKings Big Game Snackdown earlier this year by eating a whole pepperoni pizza, 32 oz. chili, 25 pigs in a blanket, 100 Cheese Balls, 32 oz. 8-Layer Dip, 25 Boneless Wings, a Whole 12” Sub and 25 Jalapeño Poppers in just under six minutes. Since I think Chestnut will get the win, I’ll take Esper to finish close behind. It would be the first time he has reached 50 hot dogs and buns in his personal history, but I think that’s actually a likely scenario while finishing second or third.
Choice: 2nd or 3rd
How many hot dogs will Joey Chestnut eat in the Men’s Championship?
This is a very well-designed prop with the options set at 0 to 64, 65 to 70, 71 to 76 and 77+. Unless something goes very wrong, Chestnut should reach 65 but probably won’t go over 77 since the world record is 75. He’ll probably land around 70, but both of those middle options are very strong considerations. Since Chestnut has been in the 71 to 76 range for each of the past four years, that seems to be the most likely option.
Choice: 71 to 76
In the World Chugging Championship undercard, will Badlands Booker chug a gallon of lemonade in under one minute?
At the Film Feast in April, Eric “Badlands” Booker won an undercard bout with Derek Hendrickson by downing a gallon of fountain soda in under a minute. He said both before and after the competition that soda is the hardest beverage to chug due to the carbonation, so with no carbonation in his lemonade, he should be able to get down a gallon in under a minute without too much difficulty.
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