A Nathan's Hot Dog Contest Contestant Is Being Accused Of Cheating

Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest already took place on July 4, but in the days following, one contestant has come under scrutiny for allegedly cheating. Two sources told the New York Post that fourth-place winner Nick Wehry shuffled the hot dog plates around in an attempt to increase his score.

Although there's a lot of prize money at stake in Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest, this wasn't a monetary issue. Immediately following the competition, the judges tallied Wehry's score as 46.75 hot dogs and awarded him fourth place; however, his score later increased on the Major League Eating (MLE) website to 51.75. This number would still earn him fourth place, and thus the same amount of prize money, but it was high enough to place the competitive eater in the elite category of people who have consumed 50-plus hot dogs in 10 minutes.

During the competition, contestants receive plates with five hot dogs each, so every empty plate equals five hot dogs consumed. Those accusing Wehry of cheating claim he was touching another contestant's stack of empty plates after the competition, as seen in a video posted to YouTube. His accusers claim he must have moved one onto his own stack and demanded a recount. This would account for the five-dog increase in his total. "If MLE determines I was miscounted then fix my number," Wehry told the New York Post, adding, "I would never cheat at a contest, regardless of why. People that know me know that." Wehry also denied ever requesting a recount.

Wehry's score now reflects the original tally

In response to this situation, MLE told the New York Post, "MLE investigated, carefully considering the complaint and reviewing video provided to us. Like many other professional sports leagues, it is our policy to not overturn judges' decisions after the final results have been recorded." On Wednesday, July 10, however, the score as listed on MLE's website went back down to 46.75.

The accusations were distressing to Wehry, who reiterated to the New York Post that he did not cheat. "However," he said, "because I did touch another eater's plates and because this gives the appearance or possibility of impropriety I have asked Major League Eating to adjust my score down to a count of 46.75 hot dogs and buns."

Wehry remains the fourth-place winner, a placement that has earned him a $1,500 prize. The first-place winners of the 2024 Nathan's Hot Dog eating contest include Wehry's wife, Miki Sudo, who set a new women's world record by eating 51 hot dogs in 10 minutes, and Patrick Bertoletti, who ate 58 hot dogs in the men's competition. Bertoletti is the first new person to receive the mustard-colored belt since 2015. The 16-time winner Joey Chestnut was not allowed to compete in Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest this year due to a partnership with Impossible Foods.