Who is Joey “Jaws” Chestnut? He’s the most famous hot dog eater in the world! The 39-year-old is a 16-time winner of Nathan’s famous Fourth of July hot dog-eating contest, held at Maimonides Park on Coney Island on the Fourth of July each year. The competitive eater has won the title a whopping 15 times, and he holds the record for having eaten 76 hot dogs in 10 minutes (a feat he accomplished in 2021).
Joey took him his 16th title during the 2023 competition. After a lightning delay, Joey took home the championship once again on Tuesday, July 4. While he fell short of his personal best, he still managed to come out on top by eating 62 hot dogs in 10 minutes.
Ahead of the 2023 competition, Joey won the first ever Qdoba Burrito Eating contest in April, when he ate 14.5 burritos in 10 minutes. After taking home his victory in 2022, he also broke records for most Raising Cane’s chicken fingers in five minutes (44) in July 2022 and by eating 32 servings of 24oz popcorn in eight minutes in August.
Chestnut just obliterated him🤣🤣 pic.twitter.com/dry7Oy8KZK
— jonah block (@JonahBlock05) July 4, 2022
Joey also had a number of obstacles to overcome: he suffered a compound fracture of his right leg requiring two surgeries and nearly two weeks in hospital back in December 2021. Beyond that, he also injured a tendon in a right leg, and arrived in NY in a cast. In May, he tested positive for COVID-19, forcing him to drop out of a doughnut eating competition. During the 2022 competition, a protester dressed like Darth Vader attempted to interrupt the competition with a sign, jumping over the barricade. Joey quickly put the protester in a chokehold before security could remove the man. As if all of that wasn’t a mountain to wade through, he lost his mother in June 2022, which he told media through tears. “This is new ground for me, having to deal with this,’’ he said during a pre-competition interview. “[My mom] wouldn’t want me to miss the contest…It’s definitely going to be a closer contest than it was last year,’’ he added.
Joey is truly unmatched when it comes to hot dog-eating contests. Surprisingly the event still took place this year amid the worldwide Coronavirus pandemic while many other related ones were canceled or pushed back to a later date.
Joey has won countless
Joey won his very first Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest in 2007, defeating champion Takeru Kobayashi. He won every year until he was beaten by Matt Stonie in 2015. Since that one shocking loss to Matt, Joey has yet to be beaten again in the annual hot dog eating contest on July 4. Joey has become the face of eating contests.
And the ̶w̶e̶i̶n̶e̶r̶ winner is… Joey Chestnut! 🌭
He takes the Nathan’s Famous Fourth of July Hot Dog-Eating Contest for the 14th time, eating a world-record 76 hot dogs!!! 🤯
Chestnut -3335 💵pic.twitter.com/yMke4JOWLw
— TwinSpires Sportsbook 💵 (@TS_Sportsbook) July 4, 2021
He has no plans to reitre
“I know eventually I will give it up for one reason or another,” Joey told HollywoodLife EXCLUSIVELY. “Either if I have a family eventually. If I want to live a more normal life and can’t travel as much or if ever my health changes or if I have a health issue that would be a reason. But I would love… I mean these past three years I have been trying to eat healthier and running more and I hope I can continue that trend so I could prolong this as long as I can because I have had a normal job and I have had to answer to bosses and have had nasty emails and checked schedules and changed orders and I mean I could go back to all of that!”
He’s open to his kids following in his footsteps
When asked whether or not he’ll train his kids in competitive eating, Joey told HollywoodLife: “I don’t know about training them but I would tell them to do whatever makes them happy and I chose a degree I wanted to do and a company I wanted to work for and it made me happy and then it grew into something I would have never imagined so I think do whatever makes you happy. Always try new things and never close any doors.”
He once proposed to an ex at a competition
Right before winning the Nathan’s 2014 Hot Dog Eating Contest, Joey proposed to his longtime girlfriend. Sadly, they split in early 2015.
He doesn’t just eat hot dogs
Joey is a professional eater. He’s competed in eating contests of grilled cheese sandwiches, waffles, burgers, wings, pizza, macaroni and cheese, bratwursts and more. What a life!
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