Major League Eating made its way to the Florida Strawberry Festival last night to host a qualifying event for the Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest.
Nathan Biller from Wichita Falls, Texas, better known as “Nasty Nate Biller,” won the men’s competition by eating 23 hot dogs, and Mary Bowers from Dana Point, Calif. won the women’s competition by eating 10 hot dogs.
“I wanted to eat more,” said Biller, “but I’m just glad I won.”
Last night’s win qualifies both Biller and Bowers to compete in the Nathan’s Famous National Hot Dog Eating Competition in Coney Island, N.Y. on July 4. This will be Bowers’ fourth consecutive year competing in the national competition and Biller’s first time since 2008.
“I’ll be ready to put on a good show for July 4,” said Bowers.
In the contest, each competitor is tasked with eating as many hot dogs and buns as possible in 10 minutes. The current world record, set by Joey Chestnut, is 69 hot dogs.
Twelve qualifying events are held each year, and this was the first time Nathan’s Famous and the Florida Strawberry Festival partnered for one of those events.
“Nathan’s Famous wanted to partner with us largely because of our family-friendly atmosphere,” said Florida Strawberry Festival Associate Manager Lee Bakst. “This was a great event that was really entertaining for our visitors.”