How Much Joey Chestnut's July 4 Hot Dog Record Would Cost

Just as Thanksgiving goes hand-in-hand with the Macy's Parade, the Fourth of July wouldn't be complete without Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest. This competition challenges people to eat as many Nathan's hot dogs as possible in just ten minutes.

While many have tried their hand at showing off their hot dog-eating skills, only a select few have made it into the Hall of Fame as winners. One of those winners is Joey Chestnut, a long-time contestant who's been chowing down at these events since 2005, although his first win wasn't until 2007. Between then and his victory in the near-canceled 2023 hot dog eating contest, he's come out the winner in all but the 2015 showdown, when he came in hot on the heels of Matthew Stonie.

While Chestnut has had many wins, the most impressive was his record-setting victory in 2021, when he managed to eat a whopping 76 hot dogs. If you add all that up, that would cost a pretty penny — roughly $179 in burgers and buns if you were to cook them yourself (or $455 if he bought them at a Nathan's location)!

Breaking down the math behind Joey Chestnut's hot dog eating contest

The Nathan's Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest in New York uses the company's natural casing beef frankfurters. While the price can vary by location, a 5-pack of these franks costs about $9. The 76 hot dogs that Joey Chestnut ate would require 16 packages, bringing you to a cost of $144 to fill his stomach.

Then, there's the buns to consider. Once again, exact prices may vary depending on the store or location where they're sold. However, an 8-pack of Nathan's Restaurant Style Buns used in the contest costs roughly $3.50. Chestnut would have consumed 10 packages of buns to reach his 76 hot dog record, which would have cost $35 total.

In general, the dogs eaten during Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest are condiment-free, although contestants are allowed to add them if they wish. So, assuming Chestnut ate his hot dogs the classic way, his entire record would cost a total of $179. Or, if he'd just purchased those hot dogs directly at a Nathan's location, each hot dog (including the bun), costs $5.99. That would mean he'd be looking at a total of $455.24, and that's without factoring in taxes!

What about the cost of Joey Chestnut's whole career?

If you think the cost of Joey Chestnut's record-breaking win in 2021 is high, just wait until you hear how much his entire career has cost. His wins alone, which amount to a combined total of 1,070 hot dogs, would equate to $1,926 in franks and just over $468 in buns, or a total of $2,394! Or, if you add up all 1,214 of the hot dogs he's eaten throughout his Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest career since he first entered the competition in 2005, things look even crazier. Those totals would mean an incredible $2,187 in franks, $532 in buns, or a total cost of $2,719 combined.

And, of course, Joey isn't the only record-breaker out there. Miki Sudo has been sweeping the women's category and has taken home the prize every year except 2021 since her first win in 2014. Throughout her eating career, she has consumed 340¼ hot dogs in the Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest. That would amount to about $621 in franks and just over $151 in buns, or a total of $772. So, if you find yourself spending big bucks on hot dogs and buns for your summer cookouts, just know that your personal best probably won't come anywhere near that of these eating contest winners!