69 Hot Dogs Make For an Unofficial New Record

Independence Day is hardly complete without an eating contest. Just ask Takeru Kobayashi. Unable to compete in yesterday’s Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating contest in Coney Island, New York, due to his refusal to sign the contract with Major League Eating & International Federation of Competitive Eating, Kobayashi held his own competition atop the roof of a Manhattan bar. Kobayashi, who won the Coney Island competition from 2001 to 2006, consumed 69 hot dogs in 10 minutes. If he had achieved this number at the official Coney Island competition, it would have made him the winner of the competition, beating out five-consecutive-time-winner Joey Chestnut who consumed 62 hot dogs yesterday. It also would have named Kobayashi the world record holder, with one above the current record of 68 held also by Joey Chestnut since 2009. However, as an unofficial competition that was unmonitored by a committee, Major League Eating is refusing to recognize Kobayashi’s record. MLE president Richard Shea told CNN, “I don’t know if it was a magic show or an eating contest… not having been there, it seems a bit of a farce.” As he ate the hot dogs, a simultaneous broadcasting of the competition at Coney Island was shown on a big screen next to Kobayashi via a live satellite feed. Kobayashi was joined on the roof by several hundred fans and two judges. “It wasn’t a competition,” Kobayashi said. “It was no different than what I do at practice on my own and I’m able to break a record at my house.” We’re not sure how much of a win this was for Kobayashi. He didn’t win the Mustard belt and while he may have had fun, he went from 140 pounds to 158 pounds from the 69 hot dogs. Yes, perhaps the real record is gaining 18 pounds in 10 minutes!