Joey Chestnut and the world’s other top competitive eaters are chasing more than just bragging rights at the 2018 Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest on Coney Island in New York on Wednesday.
Major League Eating, the event’s official organizing body, offers a total prize pool of $40,000, with $20,000 each dispersed in the men’s and women’s divisions. The first-place finishers in the men’s and women’s main event will each earn the top prize of $10,000.
Second-place finishers earn $5,000. Third place gets $2,500, fourth place gets $1,500 and fifth place gets $1,000.
Competitors have 10 minutes to eat as many hot dogs and buns as possible, using any method they prefer. Chestnut won last year’s men’s event by eating 72 hot dogs, while Miki Sudo is the defending women’s champion after eating 41 hot dogs.
Chestnut has won 10 of the last 11 men’s hot dog eating contests at Coney Island. He also holds the world hot dog eating record, with 73.5 hot dogs consumed in 10 minutes.
While only the world’s top competitive eaters are able to earn a full-time living from the sport, Chestnut earned $230,000 in prize money and other income in 2014, USA Today reported.
The Nathan’s Hot Dog contest regularly draws in-person crowds of more than 30,000 people at Coney Island. The main event will air Wednesday at 12 p.m. ET on ESPN2.