Bad News for 16-time Winner of Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest, Weeks Before 2024 Event

Joey Chestnut's incredible streak might take a pause.

The 16-time Nathan's hot dog champ won't compete this year. He's barred. Chestnut signed with Impossible Foods, a Nathan's rival. They make vegan hot dogs.

"We're heartbroken that Joey chose a rival brand," Major League Eating said. "He's skipping the 2024 contest."

MLE allowed him to join a rival event on Labor Day, aired on Netflix. Chestnut earned $200,000 last year. He was offered $1.2 million over four years but chose to represent a competitor.

"MLE and Nathan’s made efforts to keep Joey. We agreed on a fee and let him compete in an unbranded contest," the league continued.

"We've had a two-decade relationship under hot dog exclusivity rules. Joey and his managers seem to prioritize a new partnership now," MLE added.

"Joey Chestnut is an American icon. We want him back at Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest when he's not with a rival."

Chestnut, the greatest in his sport, has won almost every contest since 2007. Only Matt Stonie beat him in 2015. Since then, Chestnut has won eight times straight.

His 76 hot dogs in 2021 set a world record. Last year, he ate 62, defending his title in just 10 minutes.

Chestnut holds other records, like 32 Big Macs in 38 minutes. He ate 44 Raising Cane's chicken fingers in five minutes and 61.5 pork roll sandwiches in 10 minutes, among many others.

In 2022, he even took down a protester without missing a beat, eating 63 hot dogs.

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