What Joey Chestnut went into today hoping: That he'd be able to scarf down a record 70 hot dogs in 10 minutes, and that Neslie Ricasa would say yes. Though the seven-time champ did manage to notch win No. 8 at the annual Nathan's Famous Fourth of July Hot Dog Eating Contest at Coney Island today, he didn't hit his mark. USA Today reports Chestnut ate 61 hot dogs in 10 minutes, down from his previous high of 69. And it was neck-and-neck for much of the way, with Matt Stonie taking the lead about four minutes in. They swapped in and out of the top spot until 1:13 remained, at which point they were tied at 53; Stonie only managed to get three more dogs in, to Chestnut's eight.
But 90 minutes before Chestnut's feat, he was down on one knee proposing to his longtime girlfriend, who said yes. AP asks the million-dollar question: Will they serve hot dogs at the wedding? On the women's side, good fortune didn't smile on the Black Widow today. Three-time defending champion Sonya Thomas lost her hot dog-eating title to 28-year-old Miki Sudo of Las Vegas, who wolfed down 34 franks and buns in 10 minutes to Thomas' 27 3/4 hot dogs and buns. It's a big fall from how Thomas performed last year, when she downed a record 45 dogs and buns, reports the AP.