NEW YORK, July 4 – Joey Chestnut finally defeated his nemesis and set a record while doing so. Chestnut downed 66 (yes, 66!!!) hot dogs in 12 minutes, shattering his previous world record of 59 1/2 which was set last month in Phoenix. In setting the record, Chestnut defeated #1 ranked competitive eater in the world Takeru Kobayashi, who had won the Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest the previous six years. Kobayashi also passed Chestnut’s previous record, but finished 3 behind the champion with 63.
Kobayashi recently had a wisdom tooth removed and was also suffering from jaw arthritis, which clearly had to have been from stuffing thousands of hot dogs in his mouth over the past couple of years. However, despite the pain, Kobayashi was close to Chestnut all the way down to the final dog, forcing the judges to discuss how each competitor finished and who was eventually the winner. Despite almost projectile vomiting all over the first couple of rows, Kobayashi was able to finish what was in his mouth, bringing him to 63 hot dogs eaten. Chestnut appeared to finish with no problem and the unofficial scoreboard behind him showed 63 completed dogs when time ran out. Nonetheless, once the judges came together to discuss the epic battle, they decided that Chestnut had in fact finished 66 dogs and buns.