Electronic technology might be coming to the Nathan's Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest.
Rich Shea, the president of Major League Eating, which sanctions the event, told ESPN on Thursday that "yesterday's incident might be the impetus to bring competitive eating into the digital age."
The original hot dog and bun count for Joey Chestnut was 64, but it eventually was increased to a record 74 when it was discovered that two cleared plates were missed. Competitor Carmen Cincotti was slighted even more. His unofficial count was 45; officially, he ended with 64.
"We were embarrassed," said Shea, who was the color commentator on ESPN's broadcast on Wednesday. "And while even NFL referees make mistakes at the highest level, we have to show an effort to change the old way. This isn't your father's hot dog eating contest. There's a lot on the line."
ESPN reported earlier in the week that offshore sportsbooks had taken more than $1 million in bets on the contest. Chestnut going from 64 hot dogs and buns to 74 instantaneously made winners out of those who took the over and losers for those who bet the under.
Offshore book Pinnacle said the amount of bets it took on the contest added up to what it takes for an average Major League Baseball game.
"I doubt we can put the microchip on the tongue or in the esophagus," Shea said of tabulating the scores. "Some sort of monitoring associated with the plate weight would be more practical."
Shea said technology would also help clear the stage a bit. "There's no doubt we have to have fewer people up there," Shea said. "It contributes to the confusion."