Winner of Fla. roach-eating contest choked to death
The South Florida man who died after winning a roach-eating contest choked on “anthropod body parts” and his vomit, according to a report released on Monday by the Broward medical examiner.
More than 30 people participated in the Oct. 6 contest to win rare snakes at Ben Siegel Reptiles in Deerfield Beach, but Eddie Archbold, 32, of West Palm Beach was the only one who got sick. From the qualifying round to the grand prize ivory ball python contest, Archbold ate nearly 2 ounces of meal worms, 35 horn worms and a bucketful of discoid roaches.
A video shows Archbold forcing handfuls of the live bugs down his throat, covering his mouth with his hands to keep them from crawling out. He appears to be half-chewing as he swallows, finally pounding on his chest and raising his arms in triumph with bug parts poking out of his mouth.
Bill Kern, a University of Florida entomologist, speculated that it could have been a physical or psychological reaction that made Archbold throw up soon after the contest.
“If he was eating discoids, that's a big insect,” Kern said. “When you bite into it you're going to get a gush of fat bodies, the gut content and the hemolymph — essentially insect blood. As you bite down, that's going to put pressure on the exoskeleton, so when it's ruptured, it's going to squirt.”
Kern also described the legs of discoids as “covered with pretty stout spines” that could irritate the esophagus and stomach.
After Archbold won the contest, he started vomiting outside of the reptile store. He collapsed a few doors down.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
- Hitchhiking robot’s journey west cut short in Philly
- Obama orders steeper emission cuts from power plants
- Who wins, who loses under stricter power plant limits
- University of New Hampshire language guide panned
- West Virginia on pace to issue record number of concealed-carry permits
- State Department accuses top Clinton aide of violations
- 2 women advance to final phase of Army Ranger training
- Global lion population falling primarily because of loss of habitat, experts say
- Dusty Atlantic Ocean thwarts tropical storms
- Suspect in South Carolina church shooting wants to plead guilty to hate crimes, attorney says
- Marines finally ready to roll out controversial fighter jet