From Frankfurters To Chokeholds: How Joey Chestnut Won Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest

Zinger Key Points
  • Chestnut won the challenge after devouring 63 hot dogs and subduing a protester (all while nursing a leg injury).
  • The Coney Island spectacle also served as a homecoming of sorts.

Legendary competitive eater Joey Chestnut won the 2022 Nathan's Famous, Inc. NATH Hot Dog Eating Contest for the 15th time, but this year's victory included a twist — of the neck.

During the July 4 celebration in Coney Island, Brooklyn, a person protesting against the treatment of factory farm animals stormed the stage carrying a poster that read "Expose Smithfield's Deathstar" while sporting a Darth Vader mask. The protester bumped into Chestnut as he was chowing down on the dogs.

Chestnut proceeded to put the protester in a headlock and swung them to the ground as quickly as they jumped the stage.

The jarring moment was not shown on television. However, attendees recorded the takedown and the video has since been posted to Twitter Inc. TWTR.

Security eventually led the protester out of the gathering, according to TMZ. The outlet also claims that although three people were detained following the event, no one has been formally charged, according to the New York Police Department.

Chestnut, 38, would go on to win the challenge — his seventh consecutive year — after devouring 63 hot dogs and buns in 10 minutes but fell short of his own goals. He told USA Today that he was “going for 80” to beat his personal best of 76 dogs and buns in the 2021 competition.

It's worth noting that Chestnut competed on crutches, due to a ruptured tendon in his right leg.

Meanwhile, Miki Sudo, the women's record-holder, consumed 40 hot dogs to win the women's title.

The spectacle also served as a homecoming of sorts to Nathan's flagship shop on Surf and Stillwell Avenues in Coney Island. The previous two contests had been relocated in 2020 and 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Image courtesy of Ajay Suresh via Wikimedia

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