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Who are the favorites to win this year's Hot Dog Eating Contest without Joey Chestnut?

The competition is set to crown a first-time winner.
APTOPIX Hot Dog Eating Contest
Posted at 11:12 AM, Jul 03, 2024

With Joey Chestnut not on the stage for Thursday's Nathan's Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest, the competition is wide open and will lead to a first-time winner.

The last time someone other than Joey Chestnut won the competition was in 2015 when Matt Stonie upset Chestnut. Before that, Takeru Kobayashi won in 2006.

The top returning eater is Geoffrey Esper, who consumed 49 hot dogs at last year's contest, good for a second-place finish behind Chestnut's 62. His personal best is 51 hot dogs consumed in 10 minutes.

James Webb is also among the favorites. He finished third at last year's event, consuming 47 hot dogs. Nick Wehry, who finished fourth last year, returns after consuming 45 hot dogs in 10 minutes.

Related story: Hot dog champ Chestnut to face former rival Kobayashi in Netflix special

Among women, Miki Sudo is the odds-on favorite after winning the competition nine of the last 10 years. The only time Sudo did not win was in 2021 when she missed the competition due to being pregnant.

Last year, Sudo finished 39.5 hot dogs, leading all women by six hot dogs. Mayoi Ebihara consumed 33.5 hot dogs a year ago.

What is Joey Chestnut doing instead?

Fans of Chestnut can still watch him compete. Chestnut announced he will square off against four soldiers from Fort Bliss in a hot dog eating contest there. The event will be livestreamed on his YouTube page.

Officials from Major League Eating informed Chestnut last month that he would not be allowed to compete in this year's event as long as the 16-time champion remained a partner with a vegan hot dog company.

Chestnut also will square off against Kobayashi in a special set to air on Netflix later this year.