TribLIVE

| News


 
Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Man dies after live roach-eating contest in Florida

Associated Press | Courtesy John-Patrick McNown
In this frame grab made from video on Friday, Oct. 5, 2012, Edward Archbold celebrates winning a roach-eating contest at Ben Siegel Reptile Store in Deerfield Beach, Fla. Archbold, 32, died shortly after downing dozens of the live bugs as well as worms, authorities said Monday, Oct. 8. Authorities were waiting for results of an autopsy to determine a cause of death.

About The Tribune-Review
The Tribune-Review can be reached via e-mail or at 412-321-6460.
Contact Us | Video | Photo Reprints

Daily Photo Galleries


By The Associated Press

Published: Tuesday, Oct. 9, 2012, 6:48 a.m.

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.

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

Most-Read Stories

  1. Garden Q&A: Firecracker vine OK for trellis?
  2. Starkey: Penguins’ arrogance astounding
  3. Matt Calvert’s goal in double OT evens series for Blue Jackets
  4. Penguins’ Gibbons scores twice but leaves with apparent injury
  5. North Versailles, Murrysville families still waiting for report on 2011 chopper crash that killed couple
  6. Draftees’ longevity key for NFL success
  7. Pair of Braun homers spells defeat for Pirates
  8. NFL notebook: Pryor will be cut if he’s not traded
  9. One dead, one wounded in shooting at Chartiers party
  10. Instagram builds Oakmont barber’s rep for innovative cuts, ‘hair tattooing’
  11. Patients denied as donor organs discarded
Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.