Nathans Hot Dog Eating Contest 2024: History, Time, Competitors, and Prizes

The decades-old Nathans Hot Dog Eating Contest is one of the most highly anticipated events on the Fourth of July. Dating back to 1916, this iconic competition takes place every year outside Nathan’s flagship location in Coney Island, near Brooklyn, New York. Here’s all you need to know about the 2024 edition of this legendary contest:

A Brief History of Nathans Hot Dog Eating Contest

The Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest began in 1916, allegedly started by four immigrants who wanted to determine who was the most patriotic by eating the most hot dogs. While the story’s authenticity is debated, the event has grown into a celebrated tradition. Over the years, it has transformed from a local attraction into a nationally televised spectacle, drawing competitive eaters from around the world.

Event Schedule and Time

This year’s contest is set to continue its tradition of excitement and competition. Here’s the schedule:

  • Date: Thursday, July 4, 2024
  • Location: Nathan’s Famous, corner of Surf and Stillwell, Coney Island, New York
  • Broadcast: Live coverage on ESPN networks

Broadcast Times:

  • Women’s Competition: 10:45 AM ET on ESPN3
  • Men’s Competition: 12:00 PM ET on ESPN2
  • Special Coverage: Professional eater Geoffrey Esper’s dedicated camera at 12:30 PM ET on ESPN3

Competitors to Watch

The 2024 contest features a lineup of the world’s top competitive eaters. With Joey Chestnut absent due to a contractual dispute with Major League Eating, the field is more open than ever.

Men’s Division

  • Patrick Bertoletti: Known for his impressive eating records and strategic approach, Bertoletti is a strong contender for the Mustard Belt.
  • Geoffrey Esper: A consistent top performer in various eating competitions, Esper will be aiming to capitalize on Chestnut’s absence.
  • Matt Stonie: Always a crowd favorite, Stonie’s speed and precision make him a formidable opponent.

Women’s Division

  • Miki Sudo: The reigning champion and a ten-time winner of the Ketchup Belt, Sudo is expected to dominate once again.
  • Michelle Lesco: Known for her relentless determination, Lesco is a strong contender for the title.
  • Sarah Rodriguez: A newcomer making waves in the competitive eating scene, Rodriguez’s performance will be closely watched.

Prizes and Rewards

The contest offers substantial prizes for the top finishers, along with the coveted Mustard and Ketchup Belts for the champions.

  • First Place: $10,000 and the championship belt
  • Second Place: $5,000
  • Third Place: $2,500

Rules and Regulations

The contest follows strict rules to ensure fair competition:

  • Duration: Each competitor has 10 minutes to eat as many hot dogs and buns as possible.
  • Consumption: Hot dogs and buns must be fully consumed to count towards the total.
  • Disqualification: Regurgitation or failure to keep down the hot dogs results in disqualification.
  • Judging: Judges count the total number of hot dogs consumed, including partially eaten ones.

Historical Significance

Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest is more than just an eating competition; it’s a part of American culture. It represents the spirit of celebration and competition that defines Independence Day. The event’s rich history and its evolution into a major media spectacle highlight its enduring appeal.

What Makes the Contest Special

The Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest is unique for several reasons:

  • Tradition: Over a century old, the contest is steeped in history and tradition.
  • Spectacle: The event draws huge crowds and is broadcast to millions, making it a significant part of the Fourth of July festivities.
  • Competition: Featuring the world’s top competitive eaters, the contest showcases incredible feats of eating prowess.

Future of the Contest

With Joey Chestnut’s potential return and new challengers emerging, the future of Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest looks bright. The 2024 edition is set to be another thrilling chapter in this storied event’s history.


The 2024 Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest promises to be a memorable event filled with excitement, competition, and tradition. As fans gather to watch the best competitive eaters in action, the absence of Joey Chestnut and the rise of new champions will undoubtedly keep the anticipation high. Don’t miss this year’s contest – a celebration of American culture and competitive spirit.

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