It Happened in Florida – Eeewww…

A Florida man died over the weekend after winning an cockroach eating contest in an attempt to win an expensive snake.

Yes, that sentence is factually correct.

Edward Archbold was one of 20-30 people who participated in the contest at Ben Siegels Reptiles in Deerfield Beach, FL.  Last Friday night the contest consisted simply of whoever consumed the most cockroaches in a certain period of time won.  Archbold took his position behind the tanks holding the roaches, alongside his opponents, and began to shove the insects into his mouth and washing item down with water.

It is widely reported that Archbold was a hit with the spectators, was the “life of the party”, was showing off and won the contest by consuming dozens of roaches.

But immediately after the contest Archbold went to the bathroom and began to vomit, the store’s owner announced that they would congratulate the winner after he was done throwing up but then Archbold collapsed and was taken to a local hospital.  He later died.

The store’s owner released the following statement:

“(There were) approximately 20-30 (participants) who were all fine… All… were entirely aware of what they were doing and signed waivers accepting responsibility for participation in this unique and unorthodox contest. The consumption of insects is widely accepted throughout the world, and the insects were… safely and domestically raised in a controlled environment.”

Eating bugs is not normally unsafe.  And while some of Archbold’s remains have been sent off for testing (which will take a couple of weeks for results) scientists and health officials all agree that unless one of the bugs were contaminated with something like a bacteria or pathogen no one is quite sure what killed him.  No one else in the contest fell ill and all ate the roaches that originated from the same container.

The AP video report below shows Archbold during the contest and immediately after. He doesn’t look so good.