Las Vegas’ Miki Sudo wins 5th straight Nathan’s hot dog contest

WikiCommons via user TheCulinaryGeek

WikiCommons via user TheCulinaryGeek

This year, once more, a new crop of pre-qualified contenders will face down their piles of hot dogs in an attempt to win the title, the "Mustard Belt" and a stack of prize money.

It's Fourth of July, so you know what that means: fireworks, flag-waving, and the Nathan's Famous International Hot Dog Eating Contest.

The current reigning champion is Joey "Jaws" Chestnut, who a year ago managed to eat 72 hot dogs in under ten minutes.

Chestnut, it's worth noting, is something of a hot dog eating legend as he's won the event 10 times thus far. Apparently the counters had missed a couple of plates' worth of hot dogs, putting his number 10 higher than initially reported.

A Las Vegas woman has consumed 37 hot dogs to win her fifth straight title in the women's side of the annual July 4 contest.

Joey Chestnut competes in the annual Hot Dog Eating Contest at Coney Island July 4, 2016.

Ten-time victor Joey "Jaws" Chestnut will confront 20 other men during the men's competition later Wednesday for the coveted Mustard Belt.

Ten minutes, 74 hotdogs and an estimated 22,200 calories later, Joey "Jaws" Chestnut is once again the undisputed chow champion.

Sudo has won the contest five years in a row. Sudo has plans to enter this year's competition as well. However, a year ago Miki achieved a personal best by eating 41 dogs.

Chestnut first won the Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest in 2007, when he ate 66 hot dogs to set a new world record and defeat six-time defending champion Takeru "Tsunami" Kobayashi.

Last year, animal rights activists tried to unfold a banner amid the crowd.

"If I'm going to get up on stage to eat hot dogs", Chestnut told ESPN, which broadcast the competition, "I'm not going to do it to get third or fourth".

The event, televised on ESPN, attracts thousands of in-person spectators and has rivaled sporting events for its competitive flair.