Joey Chestnut downed 71 hot dogs to claim his 12th Nathan's Hot Dog eating contest. Miki Sudo won her sixth contest title in the women's competition. USA TODAY
Joey Chestnut is lifting the Mustard Belt once again. The 35-year-old competitive eater ate 71 hot dogs in 10 minutes on Thursday to claim his 12th title in Nathan's Famous Fourth of July hot dog eating contest.
Chestnut beat 17 other competitors and easily held off Darron Breeden (second with 50 hot dogs) and Geoffrey Esper (third with 47 hot dogs).
Last year Chestnut set a record by eating 74 hot dogs in 10 minutes. He ate 72 in 2017 and 70 in 2016. He's now won four in a row, with his only loss in the last decade against Matt Stonie in 2015's contest.
Chestnut, a Kentucky native and San Jose resident, has now won the contest 12 of the last 13 years since taking down six-time defending champion Takeru Kobayashi in 2007.
In the women's contest, reigning champion Miki Sudo devoured 31 hot dogs to keep her title — the sixth overall in her career. The 33-year-old fell short of last year’s 37 frankfurters but easily fended off runner-up Michelle Lesco, who ate 26 hot dogs. She entered the contest as the No. 4 best competitive eater of all genders.
The hot dog contest, which takes place on New York City's Coney Island boardwalk, has been in existence since 1916.