Joey Chestnut did it again.
Chestnut went on to win his 14th Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest on Sunday after he broke his own record and chowed down 76 hot dogs and buns in 10 minutes of action. During last year’s contest without fans due to the coronavirus pandemic, Chestnut ate 75 hot dogs.
“It just felt good,” Chestnut, of Westfield, Indiana, told ESPN after the victory on Sunday. “Even if I was uncomfortable, having everybody cheer me and push me, it made me feel good.”
Michelle Lesco, of Tucson, Arizona, ate 30 ¾ dogs in 10 minutes to claim the women’s title. She called her victory “an amazing feeling.”
While Chestnut was just about to break his record, the ESPN broadcast glitched and stayed frozen for a few seconds, which caused a major uproar from social media users who were tuning in to watch the annual event.
The annual Fourth of July frankfurter fest normally happens outside Nathan’s flagship shop in Brooklyn’s Coney Island neighborhood. But this year’s planning took place amid shifting coronavirus restrictions, and the event was held in a nearby minor league baseball stadium, Maimonides Park, with 5,000 spectators.
Last year, it was held indoors and without an in-person audience because of the pandemic.
Chestnut said he’d missed the fans last year.
“I’ve been looking forward to this all year,” he told ESPN in an interview before this year’s competition.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.