Protesters Disrupt Hot Dog Contest, Bookmakers Cough Up Refund

Some bettors counting on Joey “Jaws” Chestnut to cover the Over at Coney Island’s frankfurter feeding frenzy on Monday won’t have to eat their losses.

At least two sportsbooks — DraftKings and Barstool — are refunding money to those who bet the Over on Chestnut heading into Nathan’s Famous Fourth of July International Hot Dog Eating Contest this year.

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Protesters Disrupt Contest

Chestnut, 38, won the competition by devouring 63 hot dogs and buns in 10 minutes, well below the 74.5 Over-Under offered at many sportsbooks. 

At one point, protestors interrupted the event, distracting Chestnut and other competitive eaters. 

Though his movement was limited by a surgical boot because of a ruptured tendon, the 6-foot-1, 235-pound Chestnut placed a protester in a chokehold and tossed him aside before continuing to eat. The protester was wearing a Darth Vader mask.

That protester and another in a white stormtrooper mask carried signs reading, “Expose Smithfield’s Deathstar.”

Smithfield Foods is the Virginia-based maker of Nathan’s hot dogs.

“From a nickel stand that Polish immigrant Nathan Handwerker opened in Coney Island in 1916, Nathan’s Famous has grown to be the world’s most popular hot dog,” the company’s website states.

As the competition continued, event organizers, fed up with the interruption, hustled the protesters off-stage.

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After the event on Monday, DraftKings posed a tweet, explaining their money-back policy.

“With the disruption during Nathan’s Hot Dog Contest, we will be refunding all single bets on Joey Chestnut Over 74.5 Hot Dogs Eaten,” the tweet states.

Also Monday, Barstool Sports founder Dave Portnoy tweeted a letter from “Team Portnoy”  regarding the disruption.

“Barstool Sportsbook will be offering bad beat insurance for anyone who bet the Over on Chestnut’s total hot dogs consumed, and they will get their money back,” according to the letter.

Other bookmakers also are expected to refund the Over bettors who wagered on Chestnut in this popular July 4 sports betting event.

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2022 Champions

Chestnut’s victory on Monday was his 15th at this New York City event. Last year, the Westfield, Indiana, resident ate a record 76 hot dogs at the competition. He is ranked by Major League Eating as the world’s No. 1 competitive eater.

Also on Monday, Miki Sudo, 38, of Tampa, Florida, downed 40 hot and buns to win the women’s competition. She skipped last year’s event to give birth to her son, Max, whose first birthday is Friday.

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