Every year for the past twenty five years, hot dog eaters and thousands of spectators from around the world gather in Las Vegas to take part in the world famous hot dog eating contest sponsored by Farmer John hot dogs. For the better part of the last decade, the competition has been dominated by two competitors. Joey Chestnut from Chicago, Illionis and Hiroshimo Fukushama from Japan. Both men, although small in stature, can eat nearly 6 dozen hot dogs in the allotted time. Each man has won the competition four times in the last ten year.
Before the competitors travel to each competition, which is held in a different US city each year, they must undergo an intense physical and get clearance from doctors in order to compete. They of course must sign off all waivers holding the competition, its sponsors and anyone else but themselves liable for any illness that may derive from consuming so many hot dogs.
One year, visitors from different countries were also able to compete in a side competition where there is significantly more time allotted and the hot dogs are much smaller. Competitors must also eat the bun. Because they are dry and take time to chew, competitors douse them in water to soften it, making it easier to chew. The world record holder is Joey Chestnut who in 2008 consumed a mind boggling 87 hot dogs. Hiroshimo Fukushama’s personal best was 78 hot dogs back in 2004. Both men have made a comfortable living doing what they do through endorsements and advertising deals. Surprisingly enough, both men are also in tremendous health. Doctors see no signs of trouble and have given them the green light to continue taking part in future contests.