Just as there was more than two centuries ago, when the upstart Americans threw off the shackles of British tyranny, so too was there Saturday, July 4, on Coney Island -- an upset of epic proportions.
Joey Chestnut, the eight-time defending champion, was unseated by Matthew "Megatoad" Stonie, who inhaled 62 hot dogs to take first place at Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Competition, an annual Independence Day tradition.
Matt Stonie, takes home the title and belt, eating 62 Nathan's Famous Hot Dogs and Buns! Congratulations! #NathansFamous #HotDogEatingContest! A photo posted by Nathan's Famous (@originalnathans) on Jul 4, 2015 at 10:12am PDT
Stonie, standing just 5-foot-8 and tipping the scales at 130 pounds, bested Chestnut by two hot dogs. In the same 10-minute allotment, Stonie ate four more dogs than he did at last year's competition, where he won second place. At just 23 years old, this is Stonie's first Mustard Yellow International Belt.
Stonie is no stranger to competitive eating. He holds 13 world eating records, including global bests in the consumption of bacon, pumpkin pie, Twinkies, birthday cake and gyros.
After the competition, Stonie was gracious to the crowd and the runner-up, telling ESPN2 the moment was surreal.
"Joey is an amazing competitor," he told the sports broadcast network, as CNN reported. "I know he brings 100 percent to the Fourth of July and he is a legend of the sport."
Stonie may be able to use his experience in binge eating if he continues on his planned career path. Currently majoring in nutrition at California's Mission College, the San Jose-native hopes to become a dietitian.
Defending champion Miki Sudo won the women's competition for the second straight year. The Las Vegas woman ate 38 hot dogs for a landslide win over second place finisher Sonya "Black Widow" Thomas of Alexandria, Va., who ate 31.
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