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Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest prize money: How much will the winner make in 2021?

Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest prize money: How much will the winner make in 2021?

Getting paid to eat hot dogs? Doesn’t sound so bad.

Well, that is until you find out how many it will take to get the win. Last year, men’s champion Joey Chestnut ate 75 hot dogs and buns to capture his fifth consecutive Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest title while women’s champion Miki Sudo ate 48.5 to win her seventh in a row.

Sudo won’t be competing in the women’s competition this year, but Chestnut is back as the heavy favorite to repeat and take home another men’s Mustard Belt. The winner of the women’s Mustard Belt is much more of a question.

MORE: Schedule, start time for 2021 Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest

But while taking home a belt is nice, leaving with a check is even better. The winners — and each of the top five finishers — will take home money in the annual July 4 contest.

Below is all you need to know about the prize money for the 2021 Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest.

Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest prize money

Major League Eating has typically given winners in the men’s and women’s competition a top prize of $10,000 each, with incrementally smaller prizes going to the remaining eaters in the top five.

The total prize pool is $40,000. Here is how the purse has traditionally broken down:

  • First place: $10,000
  • Second place: $5,000
  • Third place: $2,500
  • Fourth place: $1,500
  • Fifth place: $1,000

This year, 17 men and 13 women will compete in the event. World No. 9-ranked eater Michelle Lesko — the second highest-ranked woman behind Sudo — will be the favorite to win the women’s belt. Chestnut is, of course, considered very likely to repeat as the men’s winner.

What is Joey Chestnut’s net worth?

A professional career of eating has done Chestnut well.

The 13-time winner of the Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest — not to mention countless other Major League Eating competitions — has a net worth of $2 million, according to Celebrity Net Worth. According to the site, he can make between $250,000 and $500,000 per year from winning competitions and subsequent sponsorship deals.

In addition to his winnings and sponsor money, Chestnut has his own line of condiments for hot dogs, brats, sausages, wings and sandwiches.

Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest past winners

Chestnut and Sudo both set MLE records in the 2020 event. Chestnut took down a personal-best 75 hot dogs and buns to extend his men’s mark while Sudo finished a women’s record 48.5 hot dogs and buns to surpass Sonya Thomas, who consumed 45 in 2012.

Chestnut will be back on Coney Island in 2021 to try to win for the sixth consecutive year. Sudo is taking the year off as she is expecting the birth of her first child.

Below are the contest winners dating to 1997.

YearWinnerHot dogs eatenTime
2020 men’sJoey Chestnut7510 mins.
2020 women’sMiki Sudo48.5
2019 men’sJoey Chestnut7110 mins.
2019 women’sMiki Sudo31
2018 men’sJoey Chestnut7410 mins.
2018 women’sMiki Sudo37
2017 men’sJoey Chestnut7210 mins.
2017 women’sMiki Sudo41
2016 men’sJoey Chestnut7010 mins.
2016 women’sMiki Sudo38.5
2015 men’sMatt Stonie6210 mins.
2015 women’sMiki Sudo38
2014 men’sJoey Chestnut6110 mins.
2014 women’sMiki Sudo34
2013 men’sJoey Chestnut6910 mins.
2013 women’sSonya Thomas36.75
2012 men’sJoey Chestnut6810 mins.
2012 women’sSonya Thomas45
2011 men’sJoey Chestnut6210 mins.
2011 women’sSonya Thomas40
2010Joey Chestnut5410 mins.
2009Joey Chestnut6810 mins.
2008Joey Chestnut5910 mins.
2007Joey Chestnut6612 mins.
2006Takeru Kobayashi53.7512 mins.
2005Takeru Kobayashi4912 mins.
2004Takeru Kobayashi53.512 mins.
2003Takeru Kobayashi44.512 mins.
2002Takeru Kobayashi50.512 mins.
2001Takeru Kobayashi5012 mins
2000Kazutoyo Arai2512 mins.
1999Steve Keiner21.512 mins.
1998Hirofumi Nakajima1912 mins.
1997Hirofumi Nakajima24.512 mins.

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