Update: Footage from the contest has been uploaded by NewsPoliticsNow3 to YouTube. You can view the video below the original story.
A 32-year-old man downed an unreported number of live cockroaches and worms in a contest, before suddenly dying yesterday.
The contest was hosted by a local pet store offering an $850 python as a reward for the person who could eat the most live insects and worms. Edward Archbold was one of the 20 to 30 contestants who participated in the "Midnight Madness" event at a Florida store.
Archbold won, consuming an unspecified amount of roaches and worms. He was described as the life of the party. But the event soon turned deadly.
Soon after Archbold's triumph, he became ill and started to vomit. Archbold's friend called for medical attention, and Archbold himself dialed 911. Shortly afterwards, Archbold collapsed outside the pet shop. An ambulance picked him up but he was pronounced dead at North Broward Medical Center. The hospital is currently conducting an autopsy to determine the cause of death.
According to New York City's Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, officials say, "While walking on spoiled food in garbage containers, they [cockroaches] pick up various bacterial organisms on their legs that they can later deposit on uncovered food. Cockroaches themselves are not implicated in the transmission of any diseases. However, many disease-causing organisms can grow and multiply in their guts and can then be deposited on silverware, plates etc. during defecation."
But cockroaches and other insects are eaten in various cultures all over the world. In addition, the insects used for the contest were safely raised so that they could later be consumed by reptiles. "I mean, it was a shock," Ben Siegel, the owner of the pet shop, said. "Eddie was a very nice guy. We just met him that night, but everybody that works here was very fond of him."
All participants had signed a waiver absolving Siegel of blame before being allowed to compete in the contest. Archbold was reportedly going to sell the python to a friend who had taken him to the event. Since his death, the pet store has put aside his prize to give to his estate.
No other contestants fell ill.