Let’s Be Frank: Betting on the Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest in PA Still Has to Catch Up

Posted By Katie Kohler on July 1, 2021 - Last Updated on July 2, 2021

If Ben Simmons’ shooting woes and the Phillies’ bullpen isn’t enough to give you indigestion, then your stomach is strong enough to watch competitors downing plates of hot dogs in the July heat. Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest in Coney Island is a Fourth of July tradition. With sports betting apps adding more markets, betting on the 2021 Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest is an option in some states.

However, just like the subjects of “is a hot dog a sandwich” and “what toppings belong on a hot dog” cause heated discussions, whether or not you can legally bet on competitive eating in your state is also a divisive issue.

Only three states – New Jersey, New Hampshire and Colorado –  have approved betting on the contest. It leaves Pennsylvania feeling like they didn’t get an invite to the betting BBQ.

Nathan’s is top dog for competitive eating handle

DraftKings online sportsbook, for the second consecutive year, has joined Major League Eating as an official sponsor of Nathan’s Famous Fourth of July International Hot Dog Eating Contest.

Bettors at DraftKings definitely have an appetite for the event.

According to reps from DraftKings, the event brought in more handle than all other eating events at DraftKings combined in 2020. The Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest ranked second by handle among the most-bet novelty events just behind the 2020 Academy Awards.

Johnny Avello, director of sportsbook operations at DraftKings commented

“The Nathan’s Famous Fourth of July International Hot Dog Eating Contest is an epic event that  epitomizes both patriotism and the will to compete. We are excited to work with Major League Eating once again to offer people  everywhere the opportunity to engage with this July Fourth tradition with true skin in the game.”  

In another July 4 tradition, during the pre-game ceremony Nathan’s Famous will donate 100,000 hot dogs to the Food Bank for New York City

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Betting odds for the Nathan’s Hot Dog eating contest

DraftKings online sportsbook in New Jersey currently has odds for the Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest. It is under the “novelty” tab.

You would have to be an “L-7 weenie” to not know who the favorite is, especially if you are familiar with Wing Bowl and professional competitive eating.

Winner of the Men’s Hot Dog Eating Contest

  • Joey Chestnut (-3335)/Any other participant (+900)

Number of hot dogs eaten by Joey Chestnut

  • Over 73.5 (-200)/Under 73.5 (+150)

Winner of the Women’s Hot Dog Eating Contest

  • Michelle Lesco (-1000)/Any other participant (+500)

Best finishing position

  • Geoffrey Esper (-125)
  • Darron Breeden (+100)
  • Nick Wehry (-141)
  • Gideon Oji (+110)

DraftKings is offering a bet boost centered around Chestnut breaking his own World Record. Chestnut to eat 75+ hot dogs and buns is boosted to +125.

Joey Chestnut hot dog eating history

Joey “Jaws” Chestnut is known as the “World’s Greatest Eater.” He won the Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest thirteen times.

Year-by-year breakdown of Joey Chestnut’s hot dog eating stats a.k.a “hdb” (hot dog and buns):

  • 2020: 75 (broke world record)
  • 2019: 71
  • 2018: 74
  • 2017: 72
  • 2016: 70
  • 2014: 61
  • 2013: 69
  • 2012: 68
  • 2011: 62
  • 2010: 54
  • 2009: 68
  • 2008: 64
  • 2007: 66

What happened in 2016? Matt Stonie took the title eating 62 hot dogs, beating Chestnut by two.

Why you can’t bet on competitive eating in PA

Why doesn’t betting on competitive eating like the Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest…or an event like Wing Bowl (RIP) pass the mustard in Pennsylvania?

Act 42 of Pennsylvania’s state gambling expansion law defines sports wagering as:

“The business of accepting wagers on sporting events or on the individual performance statistics of athletes in a sporting event or combination of sporting events by any system or method of wagering, including over the Internet through websites and mobile applications. The term includes, but is not limited to, exchange wagering, parlays, over-under, moneyline, pools and straight bets.”

It’s why in PA you can’t bet on things such as the NFL Draft and what color Gatorade will be poured on the winning coach at the Super Bowl.

In order for PA sportsbooks to be able to offer betting for competitive eating, draft betting, and really anything that takes place outside the confines of the playing field/court, the Gaming Act would need to be amended by the legislature.

DraftKings free-to-play hot dog pool

You can’t bet real money on the Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest in PA but DraftKings is offering a free-to-play pool. It’s open to all DK users and comes with a total of $25,000 in prize money. It involves participants attempting to correctly answers surrounding the event.

  • Winner of the Men’s Championship?
  • Winner of the Women’s Championship?
  • Will the existing record of 75 Nathan’s Famous hot dogs and buns in 10 minutes be broken on July 4th?
  • How many Men’s contestants will eat 50 or more hot dogs and buns in 10 minutes?
  • Full list of questions and payouts at DraftKings sportsbook.

(Editor’s note: PlayPennsylvania apologizes for all hot dog puns and any eye-rolling induced injuries)

Lead photo by Michael Noble Jr./AP.

Katie Kohler Avatar
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Katie Kohler

Katie Kohler is a Philadelphia-area based award-winning journalist. She is the Managing Editor at PlayPennsylvania and covers the Pennsylvania gambling industry with an emphasis on sports betting, online casino/poker and the lottery.

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