Joey Chestnut wins Coney Island Hot Dog Contest for 8th time, gets engaged

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CONEY ISLAND (PIX11) -- The weather may have put a damper on a few events, but it did little to keep a man from his hot dog in Coney Island -- 61 hot dogs to be exact.

The annual Nathan's famous hot dog eating contest brought out some rookies, veterans and plenty of stomach aches.

The pressure was high for reigning champ Joey "Jaws" Chestnut, who had the lead then lost it to 22-year-old Matt Stonie, who nearly dethroned the champ.

But Chestnut pulled through in the final minutes, taking back the lead and the win with those 61 dogs.

"Winning was the only option," he told PIX11 News. "I couldn't taint the day with the loss."

In the women's competition, returning champ Sonya "The Black Widow" Thomas was the woman to beat. Ranked No. 2 female eater in the world, Thomas walked in with plenty of steam and a Starbucks jug of water.

It turned out to be not enough.

In a shocking upset, Miki Sudo of Las Vegas took an early lead, destroying "The Black Widow" and her record.

That wasn't the only surprise at Nathan's annual dog fest.

Chestnut emerged before competition to propose to his long time girlfriend Neslie Ricasa.

The fellow competitive eater fortunately said yes, prompting the crowd to explode in cheers.

Although his win Friday didn't come close to last year's record of 69 dogs in 10 minutes, Chestnut came out on top with his title secured and a new fiancé.


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