Competitive eaters from across the world converge on Coney Island (N.Y.) Thursday for the Nathan’s Famous Fourth of July International Hot Dog Eating Contest. The women’s competition will start at 10:45 p.m. Eastern time (ESPN3), while the men’s competition will start at noon on ESPN2.
Joey Chestnut has won the mustard belt 11 of the last 12 times, with fellow San Jose native Matt Stonie breaking the streak in 2015 with a 62-dog haul. He and Geoffrey Esper of Oxford (Mass.) and the two highest-ranked contenders to Chestnut’s gastronomical reign.
The overall purse for the event is $40,000. The winner of both the men’s and women’s events gets $10,000, and the women also receives a pink belt. According to Sporting News, this is how the rest of the payout chart works.
- First place: $10,000
- Second place: $5,000
- Third place: $2,500
- Fourth place: $1,500
- Fifth place: $1,000
Joey Chestnut Career Earnings & Net Worth
The exact number on his career earnings is hard to come by, but Yahoo Sports UK has gathered various information to give an idea of what Chestnut is raking in.
Specific sponsorship details are hard to come by, but in 2014 alone, Chestnut reportedly made $230,000. His 11 Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest victories have resulted in a combined $110,000 worth of winnings. According to EatFeats, Chestnut has made close to $600,000 in his eating career since 2005, and that doesn’t account for various unknown sponsorship deals.
Chestnut has already won four events in 2019, each with their own prize money. The combined purse money from his four victories — croquetas, mutton sandwiches, canteen sandwiches and pepperoni rolls — was worth $16,500.
Chestnut consumed 185 Catalina croquetas in eight minutes, 28.5 canteen sandwiches in 10 minutes, 43 pepperoni rolls in 10 minutes and 52 4-ounce mutton sliders in 10 minutes.
He is able to focus completely on competitive eating at this point in his career. He used to work in construction management in the early 2010s, but told the Washington Post in 2016 that made the switch when he saw the amount of money he could make.
“It would be silly not to do it,” he said. “I get paid to travel around the world and eat.”
According to Vanity Fair in 2011, he has a sponsorship deal with Pepto Bismol. He tallied $225,000 in earnings that year, including endorsements, speaking fees and competition winnings.
His Athlete Speakers page lists his speaking fee at $5,000-$10,000. He is available for “Corporate Appearances, Speaking Engagements, Meet & Greets, Autograph Signings and Endorsements.”
Joey Chestnut Training Regimen
According to our own Olivia Stacey, Chestnut’s training regimen was strict in the leadup to his 2016 run to snatch the title back from Stonie.
“I can’t skip a training day right now,” Chestnut explained to The Washington Post. “I’ve been waiting all year for the Fourth of July, to get it back.”
Two and a half days prior to the July 4 hot dog contest, Chestnut stopped eating solid foods and nourished himself with supplements, milk and plenty of water to empty his system.
The morning of the competition, Chestnut explained to Forbes that he’ll drink a small amount of coffee, take an anti-inflammatory, and drink enough water to prevent dehydration.
At 35-years-old, he is still chugging along as a one-man dynasty over competitive eating.