Every year on July 4 in America – Independence Day of course – thousands flock to Coney Island to celebrate one of the States’ most famous creations – the hot dog.
They celebrate with a Hot Dog Eating contest, and naturally, we’ve priced it up!
Held at the original home of the Nathan’s Famous chain, the contest has been running annually since 1972, but has a history stretching back to 1916, making this the centenary anniversary.
Back then, the legend goes that four immigrants had a hot dog munching contest to determine who was the most patriotic, and an Irishman by the name of James (Jim) Mullen came out as top dog. Excuse the pun.
Today, upwards of 35,000 people visit this national pastime.
The Hot Dog Eating Contest is the Super Bowl of the MLE. Yep. That’s right. Major League Eating.
Now the prize for winning MLE’s Super Bowl, is a glorious mustard-coloured belt for the men, and a pink belt for the women.
Obviously these belts are held in high esteem and prestige, so the question is, who will claim the mustard-toned beauty this year?
Well, world number one in the MLE (seriously) is Matt Stonie, who is also the reigning champion at 5/7 favourite to win again this year.
The 24-year-old holds numerous food eating records, including downing 182 rashers of bacon in five minutes, and 241 chicken wings in ten minutes.
And to bust the stereotype, Stonie stands just 5ft 8in tall, weighs 54 kgs and is studying Nutrition at College.
Now last year was a huge event, as Stonie ended the eight-year reign of long-time champ Joey Chestnut.
Stonie put away 62 hot dogs and buns (HDBs) in 10 minutes, ending Chestnut’s spell at the top by just two dogs.
But the 32-year-old Californian has vowed to bounce back, and has said he’s been training like a ‘Rocky IV’ montage to win his belt back.
Having munched on a stonking 69 HDBs to win the title in 2013, there’s every reason the 5/4 shot could do just that.
And what records does Chestnut hold I hear you ask?
Well, among others, he’s eaten the most deep-fried asparagus in 10 minutes at 12.8lbs, and the most hard-boiled eggs at 141 in eight minutes. Pretty appetising, right?
Such is the rivalry between these two food-destroying behemoths, we’re 10/1 that any other contestant downs the most dogs on July 4.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing