The competition is fierce
Last year’s winner was a 23-year-old named Matt “Megatoad” Stonie, who beat reigning champion Joey “Jaws” Chestnut by just two dogs in a dramatic upset. Before that, Jaws had won the contest for eight years in a row. Chestnut’s response: "I've been looking for competition for a long time and I finally have it," he told ESPN. "He made me hungry." They’ll both be back this year.
But contestants' nicknames are fiercer
Here are some of the competitive eating nicknames on the roster for this year's contest.
- Matt "Megatoad" Stonie
- Joey "Jaws" Chestnut
- Juan "More Bite" Rodriguez
- Rich "The Locust" LeFevre
- Eric "Badlands" Booker
- Marcus "Monster" Owens
- Geoff "The Buzzsaw" Esper
There are two competitions: the women's and the men's
Women ate alongside the men in the contest until 2011, when a separate competition was created. The first champion in the women’s contest was Sonya "The Black Widow" Thomas, who ate 40 hot dogs in 10 minutes. This year she’s up against Miki Sudo, who won last year’s contest and has taken no nickname except this fun Twitter joke.