Joey Chestnut is an American legend. He has been dominating on the Fourth of July for over a decade as he seems to win the Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest year after year after year. Because Chestnut has been so successful in his competitive eating career, he has actually earned a good amount of money in his life. So, what is his net worth?
Chestnut has dominated the hot dog eating contest for years
Many consider Chestnut to be the greatest competitive eater in the history of competitive eating. His career resume can back that claim up too.
Takeru Kobayashi won the Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest six straight years from 2001 through 2006, eating as many as 53.75 hot dogs in one contest, according to the contest’s site. However, Chestnut won the contest for the first time in 2007 and shattered Kobayashi’s mark, eating 66 hot dogs.
Chestnut then went on a run of dominance as he won the event eight years in a row through 2014. He ate as many as 69 hot dogs during that stretch.
However, Matthew Stonie won the competition in 2015 with 62 hot dogs. Chestnut got his title back, though, when he won it in 2016 with 70 hot dogs. He has now won the competition every year since, winning 12 total, and eating a world record 74 hot dogs in 10 minutes in 2018.
Chestnut is not just good at eating hot dogs, though, as he holds many other records such as 182 chicken wings in 30 minutes and 45 pulled pork sandwiches in 10 minutes, according to Major League Eating. He also holds more competitive eating records than any other competitor in history, according to Chestnut’s website.
Joey Chestnut’s eating has paid off
While Chestnut is a dominant eater, he doesn’t just do it for the fun of it. Sporting News reported last year that the winner of the Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest gets $10,000.
So, since Chestnut has won the event 12 times, he has most likely made around $120,000, if the prize money has been $10,000 each year. Chestnut has, of course, won many other events throughout his career too, which have also had their own prize money awards.
Additionally, Chestnut has several endorsements, according to Sporting News, and has his own line of condiments for hot dogs, brats, sausages, wings, and sandwiches.
So, because of all of this, Chestnut is worth an estimated $1.5 million, according to Celebrity Net Worth.
His eating talents have certainly paid off.
He ate 90 pounds of hot dogs during quarantine
Typically, Chestnut competes in several events throughout the year, but COVID-19 has limited the amount of competing he has been able to do. That, however, hasn’t slowed him down.
Chestnut told the New York Post that Nathan’s shipped him out 90 pounds of hot dogs during quarantine and that he has definitely eaten 90 pounds. “They’re gone. I had to buy some more on my own.”
Some of his performances during his practices, though, have not quite been where he wants them.
“Some of my practices were really, really bad, just because I was lacking intensity. This year’s numbers have been fluctuating a little bit heavy, but these last couple weeks I’ve been doing pretty good,” Chestnut said to the New York Post. “My big goal is that the day of the contest, I can suck in my stomach and visualize, literally: There’s room in there. It’s not about feeling I’m empty. I know I’m empty.”
Despite COVID-19 canceling a lot of Fourth of July events this year, the Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest is still taking place. It will, however, look a little different. The competitors will be on a stage in a warehouse where they will be seated six feet apart and separated by plexiglass dividers, according to Yahoo. There will also be no fans in attendance.
Fans can watch the contest at noon ET on July 4 on ESPN.