For the first time in nine years, somebody other than Joey “Jaws” Chestnut won the Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest in 2015, as Matt “The Megatoad” Stonie topped him by two to claim his first title.
This year, Stonie is listed as a slight -130 betting favorite (bet $130 to win $100) to beat eight-time champion Chestnut (-110) again at online sportsbook Bovada and repeat his win in the 100th anniversary of the annual Fourth of July event at Nathan’s Famous in Brooklyn’s Coney Island.
The 24-year-old Stonie edged Chestnut 62-60 after setting a few competitive eating world records earlier in 2015. He consumed 182 slices of bacon in five minutes last February 22, ate a five-pound burrito in less than two minutes last May 8 and then had 34 pepperoni rolls and 15 pork rolls in 10 minutes on two separate occasions as tune-ups for the most popular event of the year.
Since then, Stonie has set world records for eating 241 Hooter’s chicken wings in 10 minutes last July 25, 25 McDonald’s Big Macs in 22 minutes last September 22 and 71 ribs in five minutes last November 24.
While the defending champ has obviously remained very active, Chestnut has worked hard on regaining the form that made him one of the top competitive eaters in the world. He appeared overweight in last year’s competition and usually weighs between 225 and 240 pounds. The 32-year-old California native still holds the all-time record of eating 69 hot dogs in the 2013 contest after breaking the mark for the first time with 66 in 2007.
Takeru Kobayashi previously set the world record with nearly 54 a year earlier and was upset by Chestnut for the first time following six consecutive wins in the event. Kobayashi has been barred from competing in Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest starting in 2010 due to a contract dispute and also ate 69 in 2011.
The over/under total for hot dogs eaten in this year’s contest for the men is 63.5, with the over a small favorite at -140 and the under worth even money. The previous two years have both fallen below that total after Chestnut set his most recent record.
On the women’s side, Miki Sudo will be going for her third straight championship following a run of three straight titles for Sonya Thomas. The 30-year-old Sudo is a large -250 favorite over the 48-year-old Thomas (+170), who is also known as The Black Widow and set the contest record for women by eating 45 hot dogs in 2014.
The over/under for the women is listed at 39.5, and Sudo has failed to total 40 or more in her previous two wins. Sudo ate 38 in 2015 and 34 in 2014, and she is currently ranked No. 3 in the Major League Eating rankings behind Stonie and Chestnut. Thomas is ranked No. 5, and her other previous accomplishments include becoming the first woman to ever win the Wing Bowl in 2004 along with holding several records.