Joey “Jaws” Chestnut is back in the game. The competitive eater has, once again, aced the Nathan’s Famous Fourth of July hot dog eating contest. The 38-year-old won his 15th title on Monday after demolishing a tower of 63 hot dogs.

Miki Sudo secured the title in the women’s category and downed 40 hot dogs. This year, she made a strong comeback after pulling out of the competition because she was pregnant. 

Also Read: This Fourth of July, your beer may be cheaper than hot dogs

The competition was relocated from its traditional location in 2020 and 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This year marked a comeback for Nathan’s hot dog eating competition too. It was hosted in Brooklyn’s Coney Island neighborhood.

“It is beautiful to be back here” in front of a throng of spectators, Joey Chestnut told ESPN after his feat, which the 38-year-old managed while wearing a surgical boot because of a leg injury.

“It hurts, but I was in the zone for a little bit. I was ignoring it,” said Chestnut, but the pain eventually slowed his pace in the 10-minute competition.

“I want to set an example”, Sudo said after the competition. The competitive eater said she wanted her kid to take a message away from it. Sudo’s child watched from the crowd as she glided her way to her eighth Nathan’s win.

Nathan’s hot dog shop reportedly donates 100,000 franks to the central food bank in New York City, according to Associated Press.

Also Read: This fourth of July, airports brim as US flies out of pandemic shadow

A Star Wars themed-protest

Two separate protests took the limelight at the hot dog eating competition on Monday. An unidentified individual got up on the stage wearing a Darth Vader mask and disrupted the competition. Chestnut put the protester in a brief chokehold before contest officials hurried over and escorted the intruder away. 

Another protester in a white stormtrooper mask had also snuck behind the competitors and hoisted a sign saying, “Expose Smithfield’s Deathstar.” Smithfield manufactures Nathan’s famous hotdogs.