Every Fourth of July weekend in the U.S. marks the time for Nathan's Famous Coney Island Hot Dog Eating Contest. Last year, a fair amount of drama took place as a long-time winner lost his title. Who won Nathan's hot dog eating contest? It was the first year in a while that Joey "Jaws" Chestnut wasn't the winner.
Last year, competitive eater Matt Stonie bested Chestnut, unseating the eight-time winner from his title. Just who is the 24-year-old hot dog eating champ? Stonie is a San Jose, California, native who first got into competitive eating in 2011 (coincidentally, San Jose is also Chestnut's hometown). Following in Chestnut's footsteps, Stonie's competitive eating debut was also at the annual Stockton Deep Fried Asparagus Championship in Stockton, California.
Stonie, who goes by the nickname "Megatoad", told ESPN after his 2015 win: "We don't just go up there and eat hot dogs. We practice for this. We prepare our bodies. It was a tough contest." Stonie finished off 62 hot dogs with buns, besting Chestnut by 2.
This year, it seems that Stonie is determined to defend his title against Chestnut, posting a taunt to the eight-time champion on the Twitter showing a table full of hot dogs.
Stonie is also a student at Mission State College in Santa Clara, California, where he is studying to become a dietician — clearly his interest in food isn't just a passing hobby. He also spends time making videos for his popular YouTube channel, where he attempts to complete eating challenges that involve consuming an absurd amount of food for his subscribers, like the time he finished seven shamrock shakes in less than 5 minutes last year.
Whether or not Stonie will beat Chestnut again for a second time in a row is anyone's guess. However, Chestnut recently consumed 73.5 hot dogs and buns at the D.C. qualifier for the Hot Dog Eating Contest; that's an increase of 11.5 from what Stonie was able to eat at Nathan's Famous last year.