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Joey Chestnut eats record 74 hot dogs for 11th title

06 July 2018

Chestnut took home the Mustard Belt after downing 74 franks and buns in 10 minutes - two more than he did past year.

This 4th of July, a beautifully American act happened.

Streaming coverage begins at 10:50 a.m. on WatchESPN for the women's competition before viewers can flip on their television to ESPN2 (or stream on WatchESPN) for a half hour of preview coverage leading up to the men's showdown. The remainder of the $40,000 prize purse was divided between the runners up in the men's and women's sections.

When Shea said that the contest had "a lot on the line", he wasn't exaggerating. It is the victory and the accomplishment that means the most to its participants.

Last year, 35,000 fans attended the hot dog eating contest and another 1.11 million watched on ESPN.

Joey Chestnut proved it again: He's second to bun.

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In 2017, Sudo ate 41 hot dogs to win the women's section, beating her nearest rivals Lesco, who ate 32 1/2 hot dogs and Sonya "The Black Widow" Thomas who ate 30. Carmon Cincotti was runner up with 63 dogs with Darron Breedon who followed behind with 43.

Both champions are from the "dunking" school of competitive eating, which involves wetting the bun to create a mushier, easy-to-swallow consistency.

In addition to bragging rights - and, probably, one heck of a bellyache - Chestnut also won $10,000 as well as the renowned 2018 Nathan's Mustard Belt. He none the less did something practically inconceivable while in competition: downing a record 74 wieners and buns in 10 minutes' time. He holds the record with 73.5 hot dogs eaten in 10 minutes in a 2016 qualifier. Here, scenes from this year's record-breaking competition on July 4.

Announcers attributed the generally lower scores this Fourth of July to the high heat and humidity.

Lesco, whose nickname is the Cardboard Shell, was subdued after her latest attempt to win it all. Ed Krachie broke his record in 1996 with 22.25 hot dogs, and that was followed by record-setting efforts by Hirofumi Nakajima (24.5 in 1997) and Kazutoyo Arai (25.125 in 2000).

Nathan's Famous hot dog brand turns 100 this Memorial Day weekend.

Joey Chestnut eats record 74 hot dogs for 11th title