Kobayashi Didn't Really Set Hot Dog Record

Video shows his scorekeeper lost count
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 8, 2011 9:34 AM CDT
Takeru Kobayashi Didn't Set Hot Dog Eating Contest Record After All
The scorekeeper looks on in confusion in this YouTube screenshot.   (YouTube)

By now, you’ve probably heard that outcast eating champ Takeru Kobayashi gobbled down 69 hot dogs on a Manhattan rooftop in a renegade contest while the Nathan's Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest was happening nearby—which would have been good for a world record if he had been in the official competition. It’s a great story, but it isn’t quite true. A video of the rooftop event, which was tweeted by Darren Rovell of CNBC, shows that the scorekeeper frequently lost track of Kobayashi’s count, glancing around for help as the crowd screamed numbers at him.

By the video’s more methodical counting (click to watch it), Kobayashi managed "only" 65 hot dogs. That still would have been enough to win the competition—Joey Chestnut ate just 62—but it’s a few shy of Chestnut’s record of 68. Asked about the discrepancy, the star was defiant. “If anyone would like to compete with me, I am here and ready anytime,” he told the New York Daily News. “If there are any requests, I will eat over 69 hot dogs.” (Read more Takeru Kobayashi stories.)

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