A Florida man who collapsed after winning a bug-eating contest accidentally choked to death on the cockroaches he gobbled down, the Broward County Medical Examiner’s Office announced Monday.
Edward Archbold, 32, of West Palm Beach won the eating contest at the Ben Siegel Reptile Store in Deerfield Beach on Oct. 6. He then began to retch violently and collapsed, raising questions about how he died and whether he had been poisoned by what he had eaten.
In a posting on its website, the medical examiner’s office said the death was accidental and ruled out poisoning.
Archbold “died as a result of asphyxia due to choking and aspiration of gastric contents,” according to the findings. “Laboratory testing for lethal intoxicating substances, stigmata of anaphylaxis, or metabolic derangements were negative,” the office said.
Archbold entered the contest hoping to win an expensive ivory ball python for a friend.
He was one of about 30 contestants who devoured the cockroaches and some worms at the store, about 40 miles from Miami.
Archbold, who was the only person to get sick, collapsed outside the store. He was pronounced dead at a hospital.