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Annual hot dog eating contest raises money for mental health

Published: Jul. 4, 2021 at 8:03 PM EDT
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MARIETTA, Ohio. (WTAP) - The Locker Room Sports Bar hosted its 14th annual hot dog eating championship on Sunday.

WTAP got an exclusive interview with the competitors.

The rules were simple. Gulf down as many hot dogs as you can in 10 minutes. No condiments. And - you have to keep it down - well at least for a minute after you’re done.

Lined up at the table was Reed Byers also known as The People’s Choice, Charlie Rose AKA Chuck Diesel, and last but not least, now a five time reigning champion, Jimbo Slice, who broke his personal record on Sunday.

“I think my record was 13 and I did 16 today,” Slice said.

Byers said the secret is... “Probably a lot of prayer.”

And Slice gave us an inside look at his strategy.

“I mean just dipping your hot dog in water, getting the bun soaking wet, makes it go down a lot easier, keep bouncing, it gets the food down,” he said.

While these competitors might sound like hot dog enthusiasts, that couldn‘t be further from the truth.

Byers said, “I did not like hot dogs in the first place. Hopefully I’ll find a better way to raise money next year this time.”

Byers came to the table with a mission - to raise money for Givemore Connections - a local mental health non-profit. With the help of sponsors, he’s been able to raise $1,000.

“It’s incredible. You know, a year ago I would have never been able to tell you in confidence that this many people would support me in the things I’m doing so I’m just very grateful for that. The Mid-Ohio Valley really is a wonderful place,” Byers said.

Whether they came for the cause or the glory - one thing’s for sure...these three can throw down some hot dogs.

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