This year's competition took place indoors and with less competitors due to the COVID-19 pandemic

By Mary Honkus
July 04, 2020 01:51 PM
John Minchillo/AP/Shutterstock

Joey Chestnut is a champion once again!

Nathan's Annual Hot Dog Eating Contest in Coney Island, New York went on despite the COVID-19 pandemic, and Chestnut was there to defend his title.

A well-known competitive eater, Chestnut, 36, has won the contest 13 times in the last 14 years, reigning victorious again on Saturday. Chestnut consumed 75 dogs and buns in 10 minutes for a new world record.

"Minute six is where I missed the crowd, I hit a wall," Chestnut said after his win, before adding, "Being inside helped."

On the women’s side of the competition, Miki Sudo claimed the winning title, eating 48½ dogs and bun in 10 minutes to win her seventh straight victory.

John Minchillo/AP/Shutterstock

This year's competition took place indoors rather than outdoors in a new set up due to the restrictions brought on by the coronavirus. The event still took place in Coney Island, but “in a private location with COVID-19 safety measures in place,” according to Major League Eating (MLE), which officially sanctions Nathan’s contest.

The venue featured a wide 30-foot-long table with only five competitors compared to the typical 15.

John Minchillo/AP/Shutterstock
John Minchillo/AP/Shutterstock

“2020 has been a year for the history books, and the realization that this storied July 4th tradition would be able to occur is a great feeling," said James Walker, Nathan’s Famous senior vice president, when the new venue was announced. "With that being said, our country and our world has endured so much in the last couple of months, that we’d be remiss if we didn’t use this moment to honor those that have done so much for each of us during this time.”

Beyond Nathan's usual annual donation of 100,000 hot dogs to the Food Bank for New York City, additional efforts were made this year to raise money and bring awareness to the needs of food banks and all the work these organizations do.

Leading up to the competition, Chestnut told TMZ that he was training for the event while being quarantined at home in hopes of beating his personal record.

"I'm breaking the record this 4th of July! This is gonna be a weird 4th of July, but I'ma make it memorable. My record 74, 75 just sounds like a good number but we'll see," Chestnut told TMZ. "If I'm feeling it, if I'm in the perfect rhythm, 77 is doable."