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Every summer, we’re reminded of a run of sports dominance that has stretched well over a decade. While other athletes hope to be great, Joey Chestnut is the true definition of a sports legend.

Every year, Chestnut puts on a show on the Fourth of July in the annual Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest. Holiday parties are put on hold for 10 minutes to see just how many hot dogs Chestnut can put down. Chestnut has become the most dominant force in his sport, but how many times has he won the contest?

Joey Chestnut is a 15-time Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest champion

Joey Chestnut burst onto the hot dog-eating scene in 2007 when he snapped Takeru Kobayashi’s run of six straight titles. The 2007 competition was the final year the contest was a 12-minute event, and Chestnut scoffed down 66 dogs

That win began a string of eight straight victories for Chestnut. In 2015, though, Chestnut could only get 60 hot dogs down, and Matt Stonie posted the upset, putting away 62. Stonie’s run, however, was short-lived. Chestnut was back on top again in 2016 when he hit the 70 mark for the first time.

Since then, it’s been all Chestnut, and 70 became the norm. In 2017, Chestnut finished with 72. He had 74 the following year. His record-setting mark came in 2021 when he ate 76.

Since Stonie’s victory in 2015, it’s been nothing but Chestnut victories. He’s posted seven straight wins, giving him a total of 15.

Chestnut’s 2022 total was affected by injury and a protest

The 2022 contest was a bizarre one.

Chestnut finished with 63 hot dogs, his lowest total since his loss to Stonie in 2015. There were two possible reasons for the low output.

First, Chestnut entered the contest with a walking book because of a painful leg injury. While legs don’t play a role in eating hot dogs, Chestnut had plenty of pain to deal with.

“It hurts, but I was in the zone for a little bit. I was ignoring it,” said Chestnut after the event, per ESPN.

Then, during the event, Chestnut had to put a protester wearing a Darth Vader mask in a brief chokehold before contest officials escorted him away. Another protester in a white stormtrooper mask made his way behind the contestants and held a sign that read  “Expose Smithfield’s Deathstar.” Smithfield manufactures Nathan’s famous hot dogs.

After the brief incident, it was business as usual for Chestnut, who went back to eating hot dogs.


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