When Winning Is Losing: Man Dies After Winning Roach Eating Contest

By: Julie Gerstein / October 9, 2012

File under: Another Unfortunate Florida Story. (The file is getting thick, FYI.) A man in West Palm Beach, Florida, died after winning a roach eating contest. Edward Archbold, 32, ate more roaches and worms than any other contestant in the contest, held at a local reptile store (again, only in Florida). Archbold (pictured) ate 20 creepy crawlies, but before he could claim his prize — a python from owner Ben Siegal — Archbold began vomiting. Archobold then collapsed and was taken to a nearby hospital, where he was pronounced dead. “He seemed like kind of a wild guy – he was wearing a bandanna, wrist bands and a shirt that said ‘Event Staff,’” said Siegal. “He was brought there by his friend, and he was trying to win the snake for him.”

The roaches the contestants ate were discoid roaches, which are apparently eaten by people around the world. “They’re clean — raised for exotic pet feed,” Siegel said. “We sell expensive animals, and these bugs are perfectly safe.” Around 30 people participated in the contest, but Archbold was the only one to become ill. According to the store’s attorney, all contest participants were  “entirely aware of what they were doing” and “signed thorough waivers accepting responsibility for their participation in this unique and unorthodox contest.” [Miami Herald]