Eating for a Living

Source: Heartland Institute
by Daniel Sutter

“A highlight of my Fourth of July is the Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest. This year Joey Chestnut devoured 76 hot dogs in 10 minutes, breaking his world record. This competition illustrates how commercialization allows people to earn a living fishing, playing cornhole, or even eating. The hot dog competition is the premier event of Major League Eating (MLE), founded in 1997 by George and Richard Shea. The Shea brothers had achieved record publicity for Nathan’s contest and saw an entrepreneurial opportunity to brand multiple eating contests together. MLE held over 70 events in 2019 and between winnings and endorsements, top eaters were earning upwards of $500,000 a year.” (07/20/21)