Only a day after Joey Chestnut broke the hot dog eating world record, Major League Eating may switch from human counters to electronic counters. Chestnut has won three straight Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest. This year Joey was credited with eating 74 hotdogs, but only after some review.
Did Chestnut eat 64 or 74?
It was a scorching day on Coney Island as Chestnut forced 74 hot dogs and buns down this throat. Originally he was only given credit for eating 64 hot dogs and buns. The number was impressive, and Chestnut beat the second-place winner by 19 hotdogs and buns.
However, 64 hot dogs were nowhere near Chestnut’s old record of 73.5 hotdogs. Shortly after winning Chestnut talked to ESPN and insisted he ate 74 hotdogs. Officials when back to review Chestnut’s performance and found that he actually ate 74 hot dogs and buns in 10 minutes.
Judges found the human counters had missed a few plates’ worth of hotdogs which caused the count to be ten under where it was supposed to be. Chestnut’s number wasn’t the only one off. Carmen Cincotti’s number, who came in second place, was 64 hot dogs but was initially only given credit for 45 hotdogs.
Major League Eating officials speak out
Major League Eating president and ESPN color commentator Rich Shea said that “yesterday’s incident might be the impetus to bring competitive eating into the digital age.”
Shea continued to say, “We were embarrassed. And while even NFL referees make mistakes at the highest level, we have to show an effort to change the old way. This isn’t your father’s hot dog eating contest. There’s a lot on the line.”
It may sound odd to think there was a lot on the line, but Shea isn’t wrong. The betting world was entirely flipped upside down when the count changed. Over $1 million in bets was sent to offshore sportsbooks.
The problem is that no one knows how to start involving technology into the count.
“I doubt we can put the microchip on the tongue or in the esophagus. Some sort of monitoring associated with the plate weight would be more practical,” Shea said.