Strange competitive eating tragedy where the reported winner of a live roach-eating contest in South Florida died shortly after scarfing down dozens of roaches and worms, according to authorities.
Approximately 30 contestants commenced eating live roaches during Friday night’s contest at the Ben Siegel Reptile Store in Deerfield Beach, approximately 40 miles north of Miami. The grand prize for the seemingly bizarre competition was a python.
Edward Archbold, 32, of West Palm Beach reportedly became sick shortly after the contest ended as he collapsed in front of the store where the competition was held, according to a Broward Sheriff’s Office statement released Monday.
Archbold was transported to the hospital where he was pronounced dead. Authorities were waiting for results of an autopsy to determine the exact cause of death.
Michael Adams, professor of entomology at the University of California at Riverside stated, “Unless the roaches were contaminated with some bacteria or other pathogens, I don’t think that cockroaches would be unsafe to eat” Adams further stated, “Some people do have allergies to roaches but there are no toxins in roaches or related insects.”
Surprisingly, none of the other contestants became ill, according to the sheriff’s office.
Store owner Ben Siegel said, “We feel terribly awful. He looked like he just wanted to show off and was very nice,” adding that Archbold was “the life of the party.”
Siegel further stated that Archbold was selling the exotic prize to a friend who took him to the contest.
A statement from Siegel’s attorney said all the participants signed waivers “accepting responsibility for their participation in this unique and unorthodox contest.”
The roaches in question consumed during the competition were reportedly delivered from an inventory of insects “that are safely and domestically raised in a controlled environment as food for reptiles.”
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