Nathans Hot Dog Eating Contest Winner: Black Widow and Joey Chesnut

One of America's weirder July 4th traditions is the annual Nathan's hot dog eating contest. Somewhere between this great nation's independence and 1915 (the contest is celebrating its 97th birthday today), Americans decided that manically scarfing down frankfurters was a mighty-fine way to pledge allegiance. 

This year the Black Widow of hot dog eating, Sonya Thomas, once again dominated the women's competition. She beat her previous record of 41 hot dogs, this year managing to eat 45 hot dogs (and buns) during the 10-minute competition. Juliet Lee was the second place winner with 33 hot dogs. 

In the men's division, Joey Chesnut, the champion five years running, is predicted to win. Last year Chesnut inhaled 62 hot dog, coming close to his 2007 record of 68 hot dogs. 

To put things in a little bit of perspective, one time I was in an eating contest. No I haven't trained for years and I didn't submerge my food in water (like these hot dog eaters do to make the dogs easier to consume) but I did try my hardest. I had two minutes and a plate of tacos: I only managed to eat three. Not only is 68 hot dogs probably the amount of hot dogs I've consumed in my whole life, it's just completely unimaginable. 

Check out these hot dog eating highlights from previous Nathan's contests and feel American while you do it.