Joey Chestnut To Compete In First Bagel-Eating Contest

America's hot dog eating champion is taking on a new challenge.

Months after suffering a devastating loss in Buffalo's chicken wing contest, Joey Chestnut is gearing up for another eating competition, and this time the carbo-load is real. QSR Magazine reports the Siegel's Bagelmania World Bagel Eating Championship is set for January 13, and the world's number-one competitive eater will be taking the stage alongside last year's victor.

The competition befittingly falls just before National Bagel Day (January 15), and will be held in Las Vegas. Competitors will be tasked with downing as many New York–style bagels with cream cheese as they can in eight minutes. The first-place champion of this year's event will receive a $5,000 cash prize, 2nd place will receive $2,750, 3rd place $1,300, 4th $650, and finally, 5th place will earn $300, per Major League Eating.

Last year, at the first annual World Bagel Eating Championship, winner Geoff Esper consumed 17.75 bagels with cream cheese in the allotted time. Other top-ranked competitors trailed not far behind Esper: fellow bagel-eaters Nick Wehry and Miki Sudo (a married couple!) put down 14.75 and 12.75 bagels, respectively. Sudo has won the women's title at the Nathan's Famous hot dog eating contest nine of the last ten years, so she's no stranger to competitions that include Chestnut.

Chestnut, meanwhile, will be bringing to the 2024 competition a track record that speaks for itself. In 2020, Chestnut broke his own world record of hot dog eating by inhaling 75 dogs in 10 minutes. Chestnut then topped himself again in 2021 by eating 76 hot dogs in the same amount of time.

"Last year's debut was a hit but get ready for an epic sequel," Michael Crandall, chief business officer with Siegel's Bagelmania, told QSR. "We are thrilled to welcome Joey Chestnut and his fellow competitors to battle for the world title and $10,000 in prize money... What better way to start the year than the World Bagel Eating Championship at Siegel's Bagelmania?"

Among this year's competitors will be Geoffrey Esper, Miki Sudo, Nick Wehry, and James Webb, who are the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th top-ranked competitive eaters in the world behind Chestnut. Chicago's own Patrick Bertoletti, who has previously competed in the Nathan's hot dog eating contest, will be competing in the Siegel's event as well.

Despite Chestnut's many world records, not every eating competition is the same, and competitors aren't necessarily at their peak performance during every event. Most recently at a the National Buffalo Wing Festival championship, Chestnut managed to put away 240 flappers in 12 minutes—yet despite that highly impressive feat, he was defeated by another competitor, James Webb of Australia, who ate 276 Buffalo wings in 12 minutes. Maybe a few dozen bagels and a couple pounds of schmear will be a bit easier to swallow?

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