DraftKings Refunds Joey Chestnut ‘Over’ Bettors After Controversial Nathan’s Event

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Joey “Jaws” Chestnut (AP Photo/Brittainy Newman)

DraftKings is among US sportsbooks refunding bettors who backed Joey Chestnut to eat more than 74.5 hot dogs in the Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest yesterday in Coney Island, N.Y. Several sports bettors won’t have to stomach the bad beat today as a result.  

The decision was made after the event was disrupted by an animal rights protest that prompted Chestnut to choke one of the protesters on stage. You can’t make this stuff up.

Chestnut, who polished off 63 hot dogs in 10 minutes, retained his title by a wide margin. Geoffrey Esper finished second with a total of 47.5.

Chestnut has won 15 of the last 16 men’s events. He entered the 2022 competition as a prohibitive -3000 favorite at DraftKings. Esper was the second betting favorite at +1000.

Last year, Chestnut set the record for most hot dogs eaten at 76. But this might have been his best overall performance given the circumstances. Video footage shows that Chestnut barely broke stride in going from his chokehold back to choking down wieners.


Favorites Rule on Dog Day Afternoon

DraftKings priced Miki Sudo as a -5000 favorite to win the women’s event. Sudo, like Chestnut, did not disappoint her supporters.

Sudo won going away after downing 40 hot dogs. Sudo’s gastrointestinal prowess was on full display when you consider she averaged four hot dogs per minute. Her closest competitor was Michelle Lesco (26), who won last year’s title when Sudo was sidelined during the late stages of her pregnancy.

Sudo is now an eight-time champion at the Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest, which continues to grow in popularity. Gluttony evidently equals good TV. ESPN averaged 1.35 million viewers for last year’s men’s competition, up nearly 40% over the previous year. The ratings for yesterday’s event weren’t available at the time of this publication on Monday, July 5.

The Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest is also attracting more money at the proverbial betting window. People like to watch what they bet, so you can probably expect TV ratings to grow moving forward. DraftKings offered betting markets on this year’s event in Connecticut, Colorado, Pennsylvania, Arizona, New Jersey, Indiana, New Hampshire, Illinois, Michigan, Louisiana, and Ontario.

About the Author
Kris Johnson

Kris Johnson

Writer & Contributor
Kris Johnson is a Senior Writer at Gaming Today with more than 15 years of experience as a sports journalist. Kris' work has appeared in Sports Business Daily, Sports Business Journal, NASCAR Illustrated, and more. Kris also authored a sports betting novel entitled The Endgame.

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