Last year, the San Jose, Calif., man nicknamed "Jaws" won with 62 hot dogs. He bested his main rival this year by 16 dogs, scarfing down all 68 in 10 minutes in the sweltering summer heat to take home $10,000 and the mustard-yellow belt.
"I feel good, it was a great win," Chestnut, 28, 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."
Second place went to Tim Janus of New York City with 52 hot dogs, who received $5,000. Third place went to Patrick Bertoletti of Chicago with 51, who won $2,500.
Sonya Thomas, of Alexandria, Va., downed 45 wieners to win the women's competition. She reached her goal -- to match her age -- in the time limit and took home her own pink champion's belt and $10,000.
Thomas, known as the "Black Widow" of competitive eating, won last year as well, the first time a separate contest was held for women. Juliet Lee, of Germantown, Md., took second place with 33 and won $5,000. Lee also won second place last year.
Third place went to Michelle Lesco, of Tuscon, Ariz., who received $2,500 for downing 251/2.
The Nathan's Famous Fourth of July International Hot Dog Eating Contest has been a city tradition for 97 years. Tens of thousands of spectators gather to gawk as contestants shimmy, slither and bounce as they dip hot dogs in water and cram them down their throats.