Rejoice America, We Have Two New Hot Dog Eating Champions: Patrick Bertoletti and Miki Sudo

Photo Illustration by Erin O’Flynn/The Daily Beast/Getty Images
Photo Illustration by Erin O’Flynn/The Daily Beast/Getty Images

Patrick Bertoletti raised the Mustard Belt on Thursday after downing 58 hot dogs to make competitive eating history–and give America the July Fourth champion it needs.

The 26-year-old Chicagoan is the first new champion to win the July 4 Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest in eight years, after 16-time winner, Joey Chestnut, was barred from competition this year–for endorsing vegan hot dogs.

“Always a bridesmaid and never a bride, but today I am getting married,” Bertoletti told ESPN (this is, after all, a sport) following his victory.

Patrick Bertoletti holds a trophy as he wins men's division of the 2024 Nathan's Famous Fourth of July International Hot Dog Eating Contest

Patrick Bertoletti triumphed in the men's category at Coney Island, but it was in the absence of the long-running dominant figure, Joey Chestnut, whose endorsement of a vegan dog cost him his place in the contest.

Jeenah Moon/Reuters

In the women’s division, Miki Sudo set a new record, stomaching 51 dogs. Sudo, 38, of Florida, who deals in all things mouth-related, being a dental hygienist and a competitive eater, beat her previous record of 39.5 hot dogs, which she set at last year’s contest.

The last time Chestnut lost was in 2015, when Matt Stonie beat out Chestnut 62 to 60.

“With Joey not here I knew I had a shot,” Bertoletti told the New York Times.

Chestnut was banned from this year’s contest for taking a sponsorship deal with the plant-based food company Impossible Foods, according to CNN. Nathan's sees it as a rival.

Bertoletti beat out Geoffrey Esper by five dogs, giving him second place, but his victory still pales in comparison to Chestnut's records.

Joey Chestnut and Geoffrey Esper during the 2023 Nathan's Famous International Hot Dog Eating Contest at Coney Island on July 4, 2023

Joey Chestnut (left) first won in 2007 and until now had only lost once. Unable to defend the Mustard Belt he won in 2023–a contest for which he is seen preparing–he has been deposed as champion.

Bobby Bank/Reuters

Chestnut has been dominated the contest since 2007, when he broke the world record by downing 66 dogs and first took home the Mustard Belt. In 2007 George W. Bush was president, the iPhone was new and the Daily Beast was a year from launch. Since then Chestnut won every contest except 2015's. His ability to much down the franks and buns is difficult to challenge: the lowest number he has won with was 54 in 2010, and every other year he ate more than Bertoletti did this year.

Chestnut set an all-time record in 2021 when he ate 76 hot dogs.

“Joey set standards that all of us are trying to beat,” James Webb, who came in fifth, told the New York Times.

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