A South Florida man collapsed and died Friday just moments after winning an eating contest that involved downing mouthfuls of live roaches and worms.
Edward Archbold was one of about 25 participants who were vying to win an $850 python in the contest sponsored by Ben Siegel Reptiles in Deerfield Beach, Fla. The goal was to consume as many roaches and worms as possible in four minutes.
The 32-year-old Archbold won the contest, but shortly afterwards he began vomiting and eventually collapsed. His body was taken to a local hospital, where he was pronounced dead. Authorities are still waiting on the results of the autopsy.
The contest was the first of its kind at the store, but one employee told the Miami Herald that customers or friends sometimes eat bugs as a dare. The bugs are normally used to feed the reptiles.
"The horn worm kind of tastes like a melon, but it has a sweet flavor. Crickets don't really taste like anything, and meal worms have a kind of nutty flavor," she said. "I've eaten the roaches too, but just the baby ones."
According a statement issued by the store's attorney, Luke Lirot, participants signed waivers accepting responsibility for their participation in the contest.
"The consumption of insects is widely accepted throughout the world, and the insects presented as part of the contest were taken from an inventory of insects that are safely and domestically raised in a controlled environment as food for reptiles," Lirot said.
None of the other participants fell ill after the contest.