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Report: $1 million could be wagered on Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest

The 2018 Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest will be held on July 4 in Coney Island, New York. While Joey Chestnut is once again the prohibitive favorite to shove the most hot dogs down his gullet, what’s truly astounding is just how much money could be wagered on such an offbeat spectacle.

Upwards of $1 million in wagers could be made across the offshore sportsbook industry, according to ESPN. The reason why bets are placed with offshore sportsbooks stems from the fact bettors cannot place wagers on the contest in Nevada, nor any of the states with newly legalized sports betting due to regulations.

Instead, wagers of mostly in the range of $10 or $20 begin gaining action online in such locales as Costa Rica, Jamaica and Panama.

The betting interest in the contest, according to a book manager at BetOnline.com, compares to the action prompted by the popular Super Bowl prop bet on the length of the national anthem.

“The handle is fair,” Scott Jaminisky of the Jamaican sportsbook The Greek.com told ESPN in an email. “The problem lately has been Chestnut being such a big favorite, it kills some of the action.”

Chestnut currently is listed as a -700 favorite to win. The No. 1 ranked competitive eater in the world, per Major League Eating (hot dogs aren’t Chesnut’s only gluttonous game), has won 10 of the past 11 Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contests. He won it all again last year by eating a record 71 hot dogs (and buns) in 10 minutes.