Green Room

Man dies minutes after winning a pet store’s roach-eating contest

posted at 3:57 pm on October 10, 2012 by

Life can be so unfair. Imagine: You fast all day so that you’ll be good and hungry when you take part in a roach-eating contest, then drop dead before you can even claim your prize. Which was a python. Really, really unfair!

The Smoking Gun reports that 32-year-old Edward Archbold collapsed late last Friday after chowing down on “dozens of roaches and worms” during an all-you-can-eat vermin contest. Archbold, shown here in a 2004 police mugshot, had just walked away with top honors in the bug fest sponsored by Ben Siegel Reptile Store in Deerfield Beach, Fla., when he allowed as how he “wasn’t feeling well and began to regurgitate,” according to the police report. Had he vomited during the contest, he would have been disqualified, but that’s all academic now.

Archbold was taken to an area hospital, when he was later pronounced dead. An autopsy was ordered, but results pinpointing the exact cause of death have yet to be returned.

Just to clarify, these were not gummy worms. They were discoid roaches, which can grow up to three inches long. The contest was part of the store’s October 5 “Midnight Madness” sale. Contestants had four minutes to see who could put away the most creepy crawlies and live to tell about it. Or not, in Archbold’s case.

The store’s Facebook page ran a eulogy of sorts that stated:

Although we just met Eddie the night of the sale, we all liked him right away. All of us here at Ben Siegel Reptiles are sad that we will not get to know Eddie better, for in the short time we knew him, he was very well liked by all.

As for the disposition of the python he won, the page further notes, “The snake is being held in his name and is full property of his estate.”

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I wouldn’t be surprised if the final results of the autopsy find that SOME of the roaches were still alive in his stomach and were having a meal of their own and thereby caused his death. The moral: chew your food first, then swallow.

bigmike on October 10, 2012 at 4:24 PM

It’s a rare day when I don’t appreciate a good Darwin Award story, but this one makes me sad. 🙁

Mary in LA on October 10, 2012 at 4:40 PM

SOME of the roaches were still alive in his stomach and were having a meal of their own and thereby caused his death.

bigmike on October 10, 2012 at 4:24 PM


WeekendAtBernankes on October 10, 2012 at 8:24 PM

Ick. I didn’t need to read this right before my dinner.

PatriotGal2257 on October 10, 2012 at 9:42 PM

I like that the store actually pointed out that the python in question was being held for his ‘estate’. I’m sure that his family will be comforted by Eddie Jr…

SpikeRHSC on October 11, 2012 at 12:07 AM