7/4/2016 – Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest

2010 Nathan's Famous Fourth of July International Hot Dog Eating Contest

Welcome to Five Course Trivia! Five days a week, we’ll post five questions about something from the culinary world, from soup to nuts and all dishes in between.

Happy Fourth of July everyone! I’m sure you’ll be enjoying some foods and drinks on this annual day, but today is also the day of food’s most exciting event: the Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest. It’s an event I’ve loved for a very long time, and it’s time to see how you do on some questions on its history.

[Edited to add: Some of these questions could use a little bit of an update, so some edits have been made]

1. Name this guy. He defeated Joey Chestnut to become the 2015 champion, and he’s the heavy favorite to win this year. He also has an amazing Youtube channel of him eating large amounts of stuff, and a link is included with the answers below. [ETA: He ended up in second in 2016, but don’t count him out in any future July 4th events.]

APTOPIX Hot Dog Contest
Question 1

2. The men’s and women’s champions both receive a wrestling-style belt, along with $10,000 cash. Give the color of both belts. You have to be specific, like “crimson red” or “Cheetos orange”.

3. Since 1972, all champions have hailed from either the US or Japan. The sole exception is 1984, where the female Birgit Felden becoming the sole winner, eating 9.5 hot dogs and representing what country?

Question 3

4. Starting 2008, the contest duration changed, possibly for health reasons. Name the before and after time in minutes.

5. The 2003 contest featured a celebrity contestant, who qualified by eating 12 hot dogs, but only ate 4 during the main event, and then dropping out after five minutes. Name this former NFL star, and likely last celebrity contestant ever.

6. During the event, the officially mandated term “The Roman method” (used by the International Federation of Competitive Eating / Major League Eating) is often replaced by what three-word phrase. When this event happens, the competitor is issued a red penalty card, and is thus DQed.

7. Give the animal nickname of three-time champion Sonya Thomas, pictured here.

Question 7

8. Nathan’s claims the contest was first started in what year, although there is no evidence that any Nathan’s hot dog eating contest took place before 1972? Even if there wasn’t a contest that year, Nathan’s was actually founded earlier that year.

9. The 2010 contest saw a spectator sneak up on stage shorty after Joey Chestnut was declared champ, and was then arrested, where he was later charged with resisting arrest, trespassing, and obstructing government administration. The charges were dropped in August 2010. Who was this spectator?

10. In 2013, Joey Chestnut set the record with most hot dogs eaten at the contest. Name this integer number. [ETA: In 2016, he topped that number by one, and in 2017 he topped that number by two more. Name this new number]

Tomorrow: We had a question about steak last week, so we’ll have a steak sequel tomorrow.

Happy Fourth everyone!


1. Matt Stonie [his awesome Youtube channel here]
2. Mustard yellow, Pepto-Bismol pink
3. (West) Germany
4. 12 to 10 minutes
5. William “The Refrigerator” Perry
6. Reversal of fortune
7. The Black Widow
8. 1916 (this is the 100th anniversary)
9. Takeru Kobayashi
10. 69 [now 72]

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