DEERFIELD BEACH, FL — Shortly after Edward Archbold won a cockroach eating contest at Ben Siegel Reptile Store, he collapsed in front of the store and died.

The 32-year-old had been participating the store’s second annual Midnight Madness sale that included a cockroach eating contest. The winner of the contest would be the proud owner of an $850 Ivory ball python which, if he won it, Archbold had planned on selling to the friend who brought him there.

Around 30 people were compteting for the python, but Archbold was victorious after downing dozens of cockroaches and worms. His victory was short lived, however, as after the contest was over Archbold became ill and started throwing up. I have seen some horrific vomit in my life, some of it my own, but just thinking of what came back out of Archbold’s mouth almost trips my gag reflex.

Paramedics ended up being called to the scene after Archbold collapsed in front of the store. He was taken to the hospital where he was later pronounced dead. Currently, the cause of Archbold’s death is a mystery, but hopefully that will be resolved whenever his autopsy report is complete.

The professor of entomology at the University of California at Riverside said he’d never heard of somebody dying from eating cockroaches. He stated that unless they were carrying some kind of bacteria or other pathogens, they should be safe to eat. It doesn’t seem as if the insects were carrying any bacteria or pathogens as they were reportedly pulled from an inventory of insects that “are safely and domestically raised in a controlled environment as food for reptiles.” Also, according to police, none of the other contestants became sick after eating the cockroaches.

But according to the store’s owner, they do contain similar allergens as shellfish, and is why all the contestants had to sign a waiver before participating stating that they were sober and weren’t allergic to shellfish. Siegel says he feels terrible about what happened, and that Archbold seemed like a nice guy. The Ben Siegel’s Reptile Store posted a message on its Facebook page asking that everyone respect the privacy of Archbold’s family as they try to determine what happened, adding that their thoughts and prayers go out to Archbold’s family.

Siegel’s lawyer also issued a statement, saying: Some facts that have come out include the fact that all participants in the contest were entirely aware of what they were doing and that they signed thorough waivers accepting responsibility for their participation in this unique and unorthodox contest. The consumption of insects is widely accepted throughout the world, and the insects presented as part of the contest were taken form an inventory of insects that are safely and domestically raised in a controlled environment as food for reptiles… Mr. Siegel and his staff did all that anyone could to try and help Mr. Archbold, and they send out their deepest sympathy to the family.

Here’s video of the contest:

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