Nathan's Famous July 4 International Hot Dog Eating Contest has become a Fourth of July tradition in America and is perhaps the best-known eating contest in the country. Each year, competitors square off in officially sanctioned qualifying events around the United States and Canada for shot at chowing down with the big dogs in Coney Island.
This year, the returning men's and women's champions, Joey "Jaws" Chestnut and Sonya "The Black Widow" Thomas, will defend their titles, according to Major League Eating, the event's sanctioning body. The event will be televised live on ESPN3 and with a three-hour tape delay on ESPN.
Let's break it down by the numbers.
68: The number of hot dogs consumed by Joey "Jaws" Chestnut to win the men's championship title in the 2011 Nathan's Famous contest. That set the current men's hot dog eating contest world record.
10: The number of minutes during which contestants try to eat as many hot dogs with buns as they can.
40: The number of hot dogs consumed by Sonya "the Black Widow" Thomas to win the women's championship title in the 2011 contest. This total was one short of her own women's hot dog eating world record of 41.
$40,000: The total cash prizes offered for the 2012 finals.
20,189: The number of calories consumed by Chestnut in setting the men's world record. Each dog with bun contains 296.9 calories, according to nutritional information provided by Nathan's Famous.
47,060: The number of milligrams of sodium consumed by Chestnut in setting the men's record. The FDA recommends limiting daily sodium intake to less than 2,300 milligrams, which means that Chestnut consumed enough sodium in just 10 minutes during the 2011 contest to put him over the FDA recommendation for 20 days.
97: The number of years the contest has been held, including 2012.
40,000: The number of spectators expected by Major League Eating to attend the July Fourth eating contest at Coney Island this year.
$66.2 million: The annual revenue reported by Nathan's Famous for the fiscal year ended June 4, 2012.
100: The weight in pounds of Thomas, the current women's champion, according to Nathan's Famous.
5: The number of times Chestnut has won the July Fourth hot dog eating contest prior to 2012.
11:30 a.m.: The official start time of the women's hot dog eating contest, followed at noon by the men's competition.
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