Joey Chestnut is a popular name in the world of competitive eating in the United States. He has a net worth of $2.5 million. Joey is perhaps best recognized for his status as one of the most successful competitive eaters in the annals of eating competition history.
When he triumphed at the Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest in 2007, he first came to the attention of the public. According to the Major League of Eating, he has held the title of best eater in the world on multiple occasions throughout history.
Joey Chestnut Early Life
He was born in Fulton County, Kentucky, on November 25, 1983, and is better known by his stage name Joey Chestnut. At the age of 18, he decided to compete in eating contests for the first time after attending San Jose State University after high school. A lot of his time was spent traveling for food competitions, thus he didn’t graduate until 2012.
When Joey was just a kid, he competed in an asparagus eating contest. At roughly six and a half pounds of deep-fried asparagus in only 11.5 minutes, Joey edged out top-ranked eater Rich LeFevre to take first place.
His Turning Profession
He entered his first Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest in 2005, the first of many. He finished in third place with 32 hot dogs down his throat. With a score of 37, Sonya Thomas came in second. Takeru Kobayashi came up on top with a score of 49. As part of the GoldenPalace World Grilled Cheese Eating Championship that year, he ate 32.5 grilled cheese sandwiches in ten minutes.
After winning the Waffle House World Waffle Eating Championship over Sonya Thomas, Chestnut finished second at the Krystal Square Off World Hamburger Eating Championship. Both occasions occurred in the year 2005.
After completing 53 and 3/4ths of the race in 2006, Kobayashi broke the global record. Joey came in second with a record-breaking 52 points.
Chestnut won Philadelphia’s Wing Bowl XV the following year, devouring 182 chicken wings in 30 minutes. At the annual Nathan’s Contest, he also ultimately triumphed. 66 hotdogs to 63 hotdogs, Chestnut upset Kobayashi, the six-year reigning champion. Joey won the Krystal Square Off World Hamburger Eating Championship in 2007 after devouring 103 Krystal burgers in less than eight minutes.
During the period from 2007 to 2015, Joey won eight consecutive Nathan’s Contests.
A new record was set for consuming 75 hot dogs in 10 minutes in both 2020 and 2021.
Matt Stonie was victorious in this year’s competition. In 2016, he made amends by eating 70 hot dogs to reclaim the title and set a new record. Joey went on to win every diving competition he entered from 2016 to 2020.
Joey’s all-time hot dog-eating record is 74.
Two new world records were set by Chestnut in 2008. At the Wing Bowl in February, he ate 241 wings in 30 minutes and set a new record for the fastest time. At the Kenny and Ziggy’s World Matzo Ball Eating Championship in Houston, Texas, he ate 78 matzo balls. This past March, he set a new male record at The Big Texan Steak Ranch in Amarillo, Texas.
He did it in under nine minutes, devouring a 4.5-pound ribeye steak with salad, baked potato, and shrimp cocktail on top of that! After a tie with Kobayashi, he went on to win Nathan’s Contest in an eat-off. At another chicken-satay eating challenge, Chestnut was defeated by Kobayashi after consuming nearly nine pounds of chicken to Kobayashi’s twelve.
In 2009, Chestnut ate 10.5 pounds of macaroni and cheese in seven minutes to set yet another world record. In addition, he won Nathan’s Contest once more, breaking his own record of 68 hotdogs eaten in 2008 by nine. However, in the Krystal Hamburger Championship, Kobayashi defeated him. For “Man vs food,” the five-pound burrito took him a little over three minutes to eat a single piece.
Singapore’s Shrimp Wonton Eating Competition was won by Chestnut in 2010. Nathan’s Contest winner for the fourth year in a row, although he couldn’t break his own record for the most consecutive wins.
He also took first place in the Pepto Bismol Bratwurst Eating Championship with 42 brats consumed in 12 minutes, and second place in the Upper Crust Pizza Eating Championship with 37 slices consumed in 10 minutes.
He won Nathan’s Contest once more in 2011. However, at an off-site contest with impartial judges, Kobayashi set a new world record by eating 69 hotdogs. Because he declined to sign the contract, he was unable to take part in that year’s Nathan’s Contest.
Chestnut ate 20 corned beef sandwiches in ten minutes munch the Toojay’s Corned Beef Eating Competition in Palm Beach Gardens in 2012, breaking the previous record. At the Nathan’s Contest, he once again defended his title and set a new personal best of 68 hotdogs. On “Hell’s Kitchen,” he competed in a wing-eating challenge against other contenders the same year.
The following year, he set a new record by eating 69 hotdogs at the Nathan’s Contest. His other accolades include victories at the Hooters World Wing Eating Championship and the Hillshire Farm Bratwurst Eating Championship of the World.
Chestnut and Tim Janus, a fellow “Amazing Race 30” competitor, competed in 2018 on the show.
Joey Chestnut Training
Chestnut claims that he stretches his stomach with milk, water, and protein supplements while fasting in order to prepare for competitions. He deliberately trains for hot dog competitions by chowing down on 40 hot dogs at once and gradually increasing his intake each day to achieve competition-winning weights.
Joey Chestnut Personal Life
Chestnut popped the question to his long-term girlfriend Neslie Ricasa right before the 2014 Nathan’s tournament, where he was planning to defend his championship. But a year later, in the beginning of 2015, the couple called off their wedding, which had been planned for earlier in the year. The city of Westfield in Indiana is Chestnut’s home.