We have a wiener! Joey Chestnut eats 71 hot dogs for title

NEW YORK (AP) — Joey "Jaws" Chestnut ate 71 wieners and buns to secure his 12th title at Nathan's Famous annual July Fourth hot dog eating contest on Thursday, just a few hot dogs shy of breaking the record he set last year.

In front of a crowd of fans and facing 17 opponents, the California native far exceeded his nearest competitors, but didn't quite make or pass the 74-dog mark he reached in 2018.

When asked how he felt after the contest, Chestnut said "I feel like I should eat a couple more."

Miki Sudo had already won the women's competition by chomping down 31 hot dogs. She said she felt "wonderful" as she walked off the stage.

The 33-year-old fell short of her total last year of 37 frankfurters but earned her sixth consecutive title by easily beating runner-up Michelle Lesco, who wolfed down 26 hot dogs.

Sonya "The Black Widow" Thomas holds the all-time women's record of 45 hot dogs in 10 minutes.

Chesnut and Sudo will each take home $10,000.

Spectators with foam hot dog hats, plastic noisemakers and homemade signs descended on Coney Island's famed boardwalk for the contest.

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Joey Chestnut - hot dog eating champ - New York
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Joey Chestnut - hot dog eating champ - New York
NEW YORK, NY - JULY 5: Joey Chestnut (center R), champion eater, proposes to his fiancee Neslie Ricasaeats (center L) just before the Nathan's Famous Fourth of July hot dog eating contest in Coney Island, New York, United States on July 4, 2014. (Photo by Bilgin Sasmaz/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JULY 5: Joey Chestnut, champion eater, reacts after winning the Nathan's Famous Fourth of July hot dog eating contest in Coney Island, New York, United States on July 4, 2014. (Photo by Bilgin Sasmaz/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JULY 5: Joey Chestnut (R), champion eater, and Tim Janus (L), came in third eating 44 hot dogs, during the Nathan's Famous Fourth of July hot dog eating contest, in Coney Island, New York, United States on July 4, 2014. (Photo by Bilgin Sasmaz/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JULY 04: Joey Chestnut and Sonya Thomas at the 2014 Nathan's Famous 4th July International Hot Dog Eating Contest at Coney Island on July 4, 2014 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. (Photo by Bobby Bank/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - JULY 04: Joey Chestnut celebrates after winning the 98th annual Nathan's Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest at Coney Island on July 4, 2014 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. Chesnut won his eighth straight Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest with 61 hot dogs. (Photo by Kena Betancur/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JULY 04: Joey Chestnut competes in the 98th annual Nathan's Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest at Coney Island on July 4, 2014 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. Chesnut won his eighth straight Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest with 61 hot dogs. (Photo by Kena Betancur/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JULY 03: Joey 'Jaws' Chestnut is officially weighed in the day prior to the Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest at City Hall on July 3, 2014 in New York City. Chestnut won the 2013 men's division contest by eating 69 hot dogs in ten minutes. July 4, 2014 will hold the 98th annual Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest at the legendary Coney Island in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio (C) watches as 2013 Nathan's Famous hot dog eating champion Joey Chestnut (L) and challenger Matt Stonie face-off during a ceremony on July 3, 2014 at City Hall in New York. The contest is scheduled to take place on Coney Island on July 4. AFP PHOTO/Don Emmert (Photo credit should read DON EMMERT/AFP/Getty Images)
SONOMA, CA - JUNE 22: Joey Chestnut, current champion of Nathan's Annual Hot Dog Eating Contest and world number one ranked competitor by International Federation of Competitive Eating speaks at a press conference prior to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Toyota/Save Mart 350 at Sonoma Raceway on June 22, 2014 in Sonoma, California. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
SONOMA, CA - JUNE 22: Joey Chestnut, current champion of Nathan's Annual Hot Dog Eating Contest and world number one ranked competitor by International Federation of Competitive Eating speaks at a press conference prior to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Toyota/Save Mart 350 at Sonoma Raceway on June 22, 2014 in Sonoma, California. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JULY 03: George Shea (L), the official announcer for the Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest watches New York City's Mayor Bill De Blasio (C) eating a famous Nathan's hot dog next to Joey 'Jaws' Chestnut (R) a day prior to the Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest at City Hall on July 3, 2014 in New York City. Chestnut won the 2013 men's division contest by eating 69 hot dogs in ten minutes. July 4, 2014 will hold the 98th annual Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest at the legendary Coney Island in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JULY 04: Joey Chestnut eats 69 hot dogs to win the 2013 Nathan's Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest at Coney Island on July 4, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Bobby Bank/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - JULY 04: Joey Chestnut eats 69 hot dogs to win the 2013 Nathan's Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest at Coney Island on July 4, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Bobby Bank/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - JULY 5: Joey Chestnut (L), champion eater, proposes to his fiancee Neslie Ricasaeats (C) just before the Nathan's Famous Fourth of July hot dog eating contest in Coney Island, New York, United States on July 4, 2014. (Photo by Bilgin Sasmaz/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JULY 5: Joey Chestnut, champion eater, reacts after winning the Nathan's Famous Fourth of July hot dog eating contest in Coney Island, New York, United States on July 4, 2014. (Photo by Bilgin Sasmaz/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JULY 03: Men's world record holder Joey Chestnut (L) is weighed as New York City Mayor Michael Bloomber (R) looks on during the Nathan's Famous Fourth of July International Hot Dog Eating Contest weigh-in ceremony on July 3, 2013 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. The annual hot dog eating event is expected to draw up to 40,000 fans on July 4, in the Coney Island section of Brooklyn. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)
TODAY -- Pictured: Joey Chestnut appears on NBC News' 'Today' show -- (Photo by: Peter Kramer/NBC/NBC NewsWire via Getty Images)
TODAY -- Pictured: Joey Chestnut appears on NBC News' 'Today' show -- (Photo by: Peter Kramer/NBC/NBC NewsWire via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JULY 04: Joey Chestnut wins the Men's Division with 61 Hot Dogs and Miki Sudo wins the Women's Division with 34 Hot Dogs at the 2014 Nathan's Famous 4th July International Hot Dog Eating Contest at Coney Island on July 4, 2014 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. (Photo by Bobby Bank/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - JULY 04: Joey Chestnut (R) and George Shea celebrate after Chestnut wins the 98th annual 2014 Nathan's Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest at Coney Island on July 4, 2014 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. Chesnut won his eighth straight Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest with 61 hot dogs. (Photo by Kena Betancur/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JULY 04: Joey Chestnut and his fiance Neslie Ricasa pose for pictures after the 98th annual Nathan's Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest at Coney Island on July 4, 2014 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. Chesnut won his eighth straight Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest with 61 hot dogs. (Photo by Kena Betancur/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JULY 04: Joey Chestnut proposes to his longtime girlfriend Neslie Ricasa ahead of the 98th annual Nathan's Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest at Coney Island on July 4, 2014 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. Chesnut won his eighth straight Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest with 61 hot dogs. (Photo by Kena Betancur/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JULY 04: Joey Chestnut wins the Men's Division with 61 Hot Dogs at the 2014 Nathan's Famous 4th July International Hot Dog Eating Contest at Coney Island on July 4, 2014 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. (Photo by Bobby Bank/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - JULY 04: Winners Joey Chestnut and Miki Sudo pose for pictures after the annual Nathan's Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest at Coney Island on July 4, 2014 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. Sudo beat reigning champion Sonya Thomas by eating 34 hot dogs in 10 minutes and Chesnut won his eighth straight Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest with 61 hot dogs. (Photo by Kena Betancur/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JULY 03: Joey 'Jaws' Chestnut is officially weighed in the day prior to the Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest at City Hall on July 3, 2014 in New York City. Chestnut won the 2013 men's division contest by eating 69 hot dogs in ten minutes. July 4, 2014 will hold the 98th annual Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest at the legendary Coney Island in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)
Men compete during Nathan’s Famous Fourth of July International Hot Dog Eating Contest July 4, 2012 in the Coney Island section of New York.Five-time Nathan’s Famous Champion Joey Chestnut won his sixth title by equaling his record of 68 hot dogs and buns in ten minutes. AFP PHOTO/Stan HONDA (Photo credit should read STAN HONDA/AFP/GettyImages)
NEW YORK, NY - JULY 04: Competitive eater Joey Chestnut waves to the crowd before competing in the Nathan's Famous International Hot Dog Eating Contest at Coney Island on July 4, 2012 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. Chestnut won the men's division by successfully tying his own world record by eating 68 hot dogs in 10 minutes; he has now won the competition six years in a row. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JULY 04: Competitive eaters compete in the men's division of the Nathan's Famous International Hot Dog Eating Contest at Coney Island on July 4, 2012 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. Joey Chestnut won the men's division by successfully tying his own world record by eating 68 hot dogs in 10 minutes; he has now won the competition six years in a row. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JULY 04: Competitive eaters compete in the men's division of the Nathan's Famous International Hot Dog Eating Contest at Coney Island on July 4, 2012 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. Joey Chestnut won the men's division by successfully tying his own world record by eating 68 hot dogs in 10 minutes; he has now won the competition six years in a row. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JULY 04: Competitive eater Joey Chestnut competes in the Nathan's Famous International Hot Dog Eating Contest at Coney Island on July 4, 2012 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. Chestnut won the men's division by successfully tying his own world record by eating 68 hot dogs in 10 minutes. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JULY 04: Competitive eater Joey Chestnut competes in the Nathan's Famous International Hot Dog Eating Contest at Coney Island on July 4, 2012 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. Chestnut won the men's division by successfully tying his own world record by eating 68 hot dogs in 10 minutes. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JULY 04: 68 hot dogs, the world record for the most hot dogs eaten in 10 minutes, are set on display before the Nathan's Famous International Hot Dog Eating Contest at Coney Island on July 4, 2012 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. Joey Chestnut won the men's division by successfully tying his own record of 68 hot dogs eaten in 10 minutes. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)
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The annual eat-off started in 1972, though the company has long promoted the event with a theatrical backstory that places its start date in 1916.

Chestnut has only lost once since 2007, when he pulled ahead of longtime foe Takeru Kobayashi for the first time. An ESPN documentary released Tuesday features the two former rivals and their extreme training regimens.

"It's not something that there's books written about," Chestnut says in the film, which shows him lifting his head up and down with a weight dangling from his mouth. "There's not trainers. Everything's trial and error."

Kobayashi no longer takes part in the event.

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