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Joey ‘Jaws’ Chestnut And Sonya ‘Black Widow’ Thomas Win Nathan’s Famous 4th of July Hot Dog Eating Contest

Both Competitors Top Or Match Record-Setting Personal Bests Wednesday
Five-time world hot dog-eating champion Joey Chestnut (L) and women's hot dog-eating champion Sonya "The Black Widow" Thomas (R) pose with hot dogs. (credit: STAN HONDA/AFP/GettyImages)

Five-time world hot dog-eating champion Joey Chestnut (L) and women’s hot dog-eating champion Sonya “The Black Widow” Thomas (R) pose with hot dogs. (credit: STAN HONDA/AFP/GettyImages)

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) – Joey Chestnut won his sixth straight title Wednesday at the annual Nathan’s Famous Fourth of July International Hot Dog Eating Contest

The  28-year-old San Jose, Calif., man known as “Jaws” scarfed down 68 hot dogs and buns to win. He takes home $10,000 and a mustard-yellow champion’s belt.

WCBS 880’s Alex Silverman Reports

The total tied his personal best and the record. Last year, Chestnut won with 62 hot dogs.

PHOTOS: Nathan’s International Hot Dog Eating Contest

“I feel good, it was a great win,” Chestnut said after the contest, adding he wished he could have eaten a record number of hot dogs for the audience. “I tried my best. I’m looking forward to next year already.”

Chestnut is now tied with is former rival, Takeru Kobayashi, with six wins. Kobayashi hasn’t competed at Coney Island since 2009. He was arrested for crashing the stage in 2010.

Chestnut was neck-and-neck with competitors during the first half of the contest, but he pulled ahead in the remaining minutes, choking down dog after dog, while other competitors slowed as the clock wound down.

“I’m happy to come out with the win,” he said.

Second place went to Tim Janus with 52 hot dogs, who takes home $5,000. He was third last year.

Meanwhile, the Black Widow  ate her way to victory at the contest for the second year in a row.

Sonya Thomas, of Alexandria, Va., beat her own record by gobbling down 45 hot dogs and buns in 10 minutes to win the women’s competition. She reached her goal of eating 45 in the time limit — her age — and took home her own pink champion’s belt and $10,000.

The previous record was 41 dogs and buns in 10 minutes.

Thomas said she started to feel sick while eating but kept pushing so she could win the title.

“There is a limit so I have to fight,” she said.

Thomas said next year she’s going to beat her record again and eat 46.

“Because I’m going to be 46 next year,” she said.

Juliet Lee, of Germantown, Md., took second place with 33 and won $5,000. Lee also won second place last year.

The Nathan’s Famous Fourth of July International Hot Dog Eating Contest has been a city tradition for 97 years.

(TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)