Joey Chestnut is now tied with is former rival, Takeru Kobayashi, with six wins. Kobayashi hasn’t competed at Coney Island since 2009. He was arrested for crashing the stage in 2010.
Chestnut was neck-and-neck with competitors during the first half of the contest, but he pulled ahead in the remaining minutes, choking down dog after dog, while other competitors slowed as the clock wound down. “I’m happy to come out with the win,” he said.
Second place went to Tim Janus with 52 hot dogs, who takes home $5,000. He was third last year.
Meanwhile, the Black Widow ate her way to victory at the contest for the second year in a row. Sonya Thomas, of Alexandria, Va., beat her own record by gobbling down 45 hot dogs and buns in 10 minutes to win the women’s competition. She reached her goal of eating 45 in the time limit — her age — and took home her own pink champion’s belt and $10,000.
The previous record was 41 dogs and buns in 10 minutes. Thomas said she started to feel sick while eating but kept pushing so she could win the title. “There is a limit so I have to fight,” she said. Thomas said next year she’s going to beat her record again and eat 46. “Because I’m going to be 46 next year,” she said.