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Why can’t Joey Chestnut participate in this year’s 4th of July hot dog eating contest?

Joey Chestnut, the undisputed winner of the 4th of July hot dog eating contest, was eliminated from the competition. This is the reason for his departure.

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Joey Chestnut, won’t defend title at the 4th of July hot dog eating contest

The United States has a curious variety of traditions, among which one truly stands out, the annual Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest. The same in which the Kentucky native, Joey Chestnut, has positioned himself as the undisputed champion by winning a total of 16 times. However, Chestnut will have to say goodbye to his chance at another title this year after having been left out of the competition.

The hot dog eating contest takes place every July 4th at Coney Island, near Brooklyn, New York. Its main objective is to commemorate Independence Day, so the person who eats the most hot dogs in the shortest amount of time is considered the most patriotic. This competition is organized by the Nathan's restaurant chain, popularly known for selling the best hot dogs in the country.

Why can't Joey Chestnut participate in the 4th of July hot dog contest?

Despite being the undisputed winner of the contest, Chestnut has been left out of this year’s competition after signing an agreement with Impossible Foods, a company which recently launched a plant-based sausage and is therefore listed as one of the competitors of Nathan’s, the organizer and creator of the popular contest.

“We are devastated to learn that Joey Chestnut has chosen to represent a rival brand that sells plant-based hot dogs rather than competing in the 2024 Nathan’s Famous Fourth of July Hot Dog Eating Contest,” a representative from Major League Eating (MLE) noted for the New York Post.

Although Chestnut is not considered for this year's contest, the MLE representative assures that Nathan's and Joey can still reach an agreement before July 4. However, “it all depends on Joey.”

He’s the Michael Jordan of competitive eating. But imagine if Michael Jordan said to Nike, ‘I love being the face of Nike but I want to do commercials for Adidas too,’” added the source.

The fortune that Joey Chestnut has achieved with the hot dog contest

By winning the competition a total of 16 times, Chestnut has managed to amass a fortune of $4 million dollars, according to figures from USA Today. He has earned the money through his victories and the sponsorships that have come with them.