Joey "Jaws" Chestnut Wins Eighth Hot Dog Eating Contest, and Gets a Fiancée, Too
If you daydreamed about your engagement as a little girl, you probably saw every detail. The ring. The man. The....hot dogs? On Friday, just in time for the Fourth of July, Joey Chestnut won his eighth Hot Dog Eating Contest, and got engaged, too. Chestnut goes by "Jaws" and is the World Record Holder when it comes to hot dogs eaten (69, set during last year's tournament).
The eight-time Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest champion began his hot dog-athon by getting down on one knee and proposing to his girlfriend, Neslie Ricasa, according to CBS. She said yes, which presumably helped Jaws get through the 61 hot dogs he shoved down his maw during the 10 minutes of competition.
Yup, 61 hot dogs in 10 minutes. And that's eight short of his record.
Chestnut's fiancée, Ricasa, is also a competitive eater. According to Newsday, she tends to get front and center during the contest and scream at Jaws to encourage him.
Don't get lazy! You're getting lazy!
He told Newsday that Ricasa "enjoys yelling" at him and that he responds well to "negative reinforcement," so it sounds like a match made in heaven. Here's a photo of the couple's engagement:
On Friday, the women's defending champion — three-time winner Sonya "The Black Widow" Thomas — lost. Yes, her nickname is actually "The Black Widow," because eating contests. Last year she ate 45 hot dogs and buns; this year, just 27 3/4, according to CBS DC, and 28-year-old Miki Sudo took the belt.
According to USA Today's For The Win, rainy conditions really messed with the contestants' ability to scarf down as many hot dogs and buns as possible. Why exactly weather has an impact on the amount of hot dogs one can eat was not explained.
In order to eat an inhuman number of hot dogs in just 10 minutes, the 28-year-old Chestnut apparently fasts with fluid, including water with amino acids or lemon juice and cayenne paper. Then, on the day of, he doesn't eat anything at all, Newsday reported.
I've figured out how to push my body to the absolute limit. ... You learn to ignore your feelings. Feelings are not facts!
The contest has been around for decades and "according to legend" it has its roots in a 1916 hot dog eat-off. Except that anecdote was legendarily fabricated by a famous New York PR guy named Mortimer Matz and has no connection to reality, according to an interview Matz did with The New York Times in 2010. Nathan's famous contest actually dates back to the early 1970s.