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N.H. Gamblers Relish The Chance To Bet On Hot Dog Eating Contest

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Michael, via Flickr
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For the first time in New Hampshire history, gamblers will be able to legally wager on a competitive eating contest this weekend.

DraftKings, which was selected by the state last year to operate both online and in-person sports wagering, will take bets on the annual Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating contest.

Considered by some to be the Superbowl of competitive eating, the annual July 4th competition pits some of the world’s finest appetites against each other in a contest to consume the most hot dogs in ten minutes. 

Online sports wagering launched in late December, when Gov. Chris Sununu bet, and quickly lost, $82 on his beloved Patriots. Gamblers must be at least 18 years old and physically located within the state’s boundaries to place bets. 

The N.H. Lottery Commission forecasted sports wagering would generate $10 million for the state in its first full year of operations, with DraftKings taking 50% of all profits. The cancellation of most sporting events due to the pandemic will likely push revenues much lower.

The Massachusetts-based company is an official sponsor of the Nathan’s Hot Dog eating contest, which will be held in a private location this year, rather than the traditional Coney Island spectacle. 

In the men’s division, 12-time winner Joey Chestnut is the odds-on favorite. Chestnut holds the Nathan’s record with 74 hot dogs consumed in 10 minutes in 2018. On the women’s side, the odds-on favorite is Miki Sudo, according to DraftKings.

In addition to picking the winner, an over-under wager can be placed on the number of hot dogs consumed. The over-under line currently stands at 72.5 hot dogs. 

Colorado and New Jersey are the only other states where DraftKings is offering wagering on the hot dog eating contest. The competition will air live at noon on ESPN.

Todd started as a news correspondent with NHPR in 2009. He spent nearly a decade in the non-profit world, working with international development agencies and anti-poverty groups. He holds a master’s degree in public administration from Columbia University.

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