Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest 2021: Joey Chestnut's Final Stats, Prize Money

Jake RillFeatured Columnist IJuly 5, 2021

Chowdown champ Joey “Jaws” Chestnut celebrates after winning the the Nathan's Famous Fourth of July International Hot Dog-Eating Contest in Coney Island's Maimonides Park on Sunday, July 4, 2021, in the Brooklyn borough of New York. (AP Photo/Brittainy Newman)
Brittainy Newman/Associated Press

Everybody knew Joey Chestnut was going to win the 2021 Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest. He wins it pretty much every year, after all. The question heading into Sunday was: Can Chestnut break his all-time record?

Somehow, Chestnut did just that, as he continues to find a way to increase the number of hot dogs (and buns) he can consume during the 10-minute competition. This year, he put down 76 dogs, breaking the record of 75 that he set in the 2020 contest. No other competitor ate more than 50 on Sunday.

Chestnut has now won the mustard belt six straight times and in 14 of the past 15 years. He's eaten at least 70 hot dogs in each year of his active winning streak, and he's showing no signs of slowing down, considering he's set a new record in three of the past four years.

As ESPN Stats & Info pointed out, Chestnut holds the top 10 all-time performances in the hot dog eating contest. While he has 14 wins, no other person has more than seven.

Last year, the hot dog contest was held in a private location with no fans because of the coronavirus pandemic. On Sunday, fans again packed Coney Island to cheer on Chestnut as he delivered another historic performance.

"It just felt good," Chestnut said in an ESPN interview (h/t the Associated Press). "Even if I was uncomfortable, having everybody cheer me and push me, it made me feel good."

While it's not known exactly how many calories Chestnut consumed during the 10-minute competition, the Action Network estimates it was around 20,520.

With another dominant showing, Chestnut took home the large prize from the contest. Each year, the victor typically receives $10,000 of the $40,000 total purse (per Edward Sutelan of Sporting News). So once again, the 37-year-old leaves Brooklyn with another large check to deposit into his bank account.

In the women's contest, there was a first-time winner. Seven-time-defending champion Miki Sudo didn't compete this year because she's pregnant. So there was an opportunity for somebody else to win the mustard belt in her absence.

That ended up being Michelle Lesco, who was the favorite heading into the event. She consumed 30¾ hot dogs, while no other female competitor ate more than 24.

But the Fourth of July again belonged to Chestnut, who stole the show with yet another record-breaking performance. It's becoming an annual holiday tradition.

And he may not be done, either. Before this year's contest, Chestnut said at the Friday weigh-in that "76, 77 sounds doable." If that's the case, maybe he'll set another record in 2022.

If there's anybody who can do it, it's definitely Chestnut.