Man dies after live roach-eating contest in Florida
MIAMI — A contestant in a roach-eating contest who downed dozens of live bugs and worms collapsed and died shortly after winning the contest in South Florida, authorities say.
About 30 contestants ingested the insects during Friday night's contest at Ben Siegel Reptile Store in Deerfield Beach about 40 miles north of Miami. The grand prize was a python.
Edward Archbold, 32, of West Palm Beach became ill shortly after the contest ended and collapsed outside the store, according to a Broward Sheriff's Office statement released Monday. He was taken to a hospital where he was pronounced dead. Authorities were awaiting results of an autopsy to determine a cause of death.
The sheriff's office said none of the other contestants fell ill.
“Unless the roaches were contaminated with some bacteria or other pathogens, I don't think that cockroaches would be unsafe to eat,” said Michael Adams, professor of entomology at the University of California at Riverside. He said he has never heard of someone dying after consuming roaches.
“Some people do have allergies to roaches,” he added, “but there are no toxins in roaches or related insects.”
There was no updated phone number listed for Archbold in West Palm Beach.
“We feel terribly awful,” said store owner Ben Siegel, who added that Archbold did not appear to be sick before the contest.
“He looked like he just wanted to show off and was very nice,” Siegel said, adding that Archbold was “the life of the party.”
A statement from Siegel's attorney said all the participants signed waivers “accepting responsibility for their participation in this unique and unorthodox contest.”
Siegel said Archbold was selling the exotic prize to a friend who took him to the contest. The Miami Herald reported the grand prize has been put aside in Archbold's name and will be given to his estate.
Siegel said Archbold was selling the exotic prize to a friend who took him to the contest.
The Miami Herald reported the grand prize has been put aside in Archbold's name and will be given to his estate.
The bugs consumed were from an inventory of insects “that are safely and domestically raised in a controlled environment as food for reptiles.”
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Mon-Yough communities pick up litter, collect recyclables during Great American Cleanup
- Group strives to preserve memory of SS McKeesport
- Coach Johnston trying to figure out why Penguins ‘fell off a cliff’
- Counselors available at Hempfield after crash kills student
- Washington’s Shelton grows into big role, looks forward to draft
- Behind starter Liriano, Pirates complete sweep of Diamondbacks
- Protest planned Monday at Plum Borough High School
- Pirates notebook: Wainwright injury doesn’t sway Hurdle on DH
- Injured Penguins optimistic about returning next season
- Crosby, Malkin want to remain in Pittsburgh
- A host of top NFL Draft picks figure to be versatile defensive linemen