Three thousand fans of competitive eating contended with media outlets from around the world to watch Takeru Kobayashi set a new world record by downing 50 and ? hot dogs and buns in the 87th Annual Nathan's Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest. With temperatures in the humid high 90s, and a real feel temp of 105 degrees, 20 competitors consumed a total of 336 hot dogs in the 12-minute contest.
This year's contest featured a total of 20 eaters from Japan, Germany, Thailand, Canada and the United States. To gain a seat at the table for the international contest, all eaters had to win one of 19 regional qualifying contests throughout the United States and the world.
Eric Booker of Long Island, N.Y., who holds the American record of 28 hot dogs and buns in 12 minutes, came in second place with 26 hot dogs and buns, while Oleg Zhornitskiy came in third with 25 ?. With 50 and ?, Kobayashi improved upon his previous record of 50, which was set last year in Coney Island.
"I am impressed not only with the top three finishers, but at the stamina shown by each and every competitor today," said Dave Baer, an IFOCE director. "Each year the crowd grows as does the media attention, and I am pleased that each eater was able to burdensome heat and all of these competitors should be proud of their accomplishment."
This year marks another milestone for the sport - BetWWTS.com, an online sportsbook - offered odds and accepted wagers for the Fourth of July event. This proved to be a major amenity for fans that have long wanted to bet on their favorite competitive eater.