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Joey Chestnut Wins 11th Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog Contest

Joey Chestnut
Evan Agostini/Invision/AP

Defending champion Joey “Jaws” Chestnut chomped down a record 74 franks and buns Wednesday to win his 11th title at the annual Nathan’s Famous July Fourth hot dog eating contest.

The renowned competitive eater hailing from San Jose, California, took home the coveted Mustard Belt and surpassed the previous mark of 72 dogs and buns he downed last year.

The heat wasn’t a factor for Chestnut despite the temperatures surpassing 83 degrees with a heat index of 91 degrees.

Miki Sudo said after eating 37 dogs and buns that the heat may have slowed her down in winning the women’s competition — Yet that didn’t stop the Las Vegas eater from easily beating out second-place finisher Mischelle Lesco of Tuscon, Arizona, who wolfed down 28 wieners and buns.

Thousands of attendees, many wearing mustard-colored hot dog caps, braved the heat to witness the annual July Fourth competition on the Coney Island boardwalk. The outlandish tradition dates to 1972, though the company has long promoted what a former president acknowledged was a legendary start date of 1916.

Fan Martha Pleasant, 41, of Franklin, New Jersey, said she was attending the competitive eating competition to support her husband Dwight, who “loves wieners.”

“We are trying to knock something off my hubby’s bucket list,” she said.

Last year, animal rights activists tried to unfold a banner amid the crowd. Five protesters were taken into custody for questioning and later released.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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