Skip to main content

Just like fireworks and cookouts, the Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest is an American tradition on the Fourth of July. For years, we have watched competitive eaters go at it and quickly scoff down as many hot dogs (and buns) as they can within 10 minutes. So, how much money do these legendary eaters (and, yes, sports icons) make for winning the annual contest?

The Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest winners receive $10,000 each

According to Insiders Betting Digest, the winner of the 2023 Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest will walk away with $10,000. Each winner of the men’s and women’s contests receives $10,000.

While that may not seem like a whole lot of cash, especially when considering how much food the winners put into their bodies, it’s one of the larger prizes out of all the Major League Eating (MLE) contests, per the MLE official site.

Joey Chestnut enters as the overwhelming favorite in the men’s competition. He’s a 15-time champion and has won the last seven contests. In 2007, Chestnut snapped Takeru Kobayashi’s run of six straight titles. The 2007 competition was the final year it was a 12-minute event, and Chestnut scoffed down 66 dogs.

In 2015, Chestnut saw his run of eight straight victories come to a shocking halt when Matt Stonie put down 62 hot dogs to Chestnut’s 60. Since that loss, Chestnut has rattled off seven straight wins and has hit the 70-dog mark six times.

Miki Sudo has dominated the women’s competition

The first women’s Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest took place in 2011, and it has been dominated by Miki Sudo almost ever since. Sudo has won eight of the last nine contests, and the only time she didn’t win, she didn’t participate.

In 2021, Sudo skipped the event as she was expecting a baby with her fiance Nick Wehry. Wehry is also a competitive eater, who explained to Sportscasting in 2021 what it’s like going up against a legend like Chestnut.

“You realize who you’re going up against, but that doesn’t change anything,” said Wehry. “I go there to win. Every contest I enter, I want to win. I don’t care if you’re my grandmother or Joey Chestnut. I want to beat you.”

In Sudo’s absence in 2021, Michelle Lesco was crowned the winner, but Sudo reclaimed her title last year when she put away 40 hot dogs.


When Did Competitive Hot Dog Eating Become a Thing?