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Roach-eating contest winner choked to death

Monday, November 26, 2012 - 4:46pm

A 32-year-old man who died after downing dozens of roaches and worms last month to win a python at a Florida reptile store choked to death, medical officials said Monday.

Edward Archbold died "as a result of asphyxia due to choking and aspiration of gastric contents," said the Broward County Medical Examiner's Office. It said his airway was obstructed by bug body parts, and ruled his death was an accident.

Archbold was among 20 to 30 contestants participating in the "Midnight Madness" event at Ben Siegel Reptiles in Deerfield Beach.

The participant who consumed the most insects and worms would take home an $850 python.

Archbold swallowed roach after roach, worm after worm. While the store didn't say exactly how many Archbold consumed, the owner told CNN affiliate WPLG that he was "the life of the party."

Soon after the contest was over, Archbold fell ill and began to vomit, the Broward County Sheriff's Office said.

A friend called for medical help. Then, Archbold himself dialed 911, the store said in a Facebook post.

Eventually, he fell to the ground outside the store, the sheriff's office said. An ambulance took him to North Broward Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead.

No other contestant fell ill, the sheriff's office said.

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CNN's Greg Botelho contributed to this report.

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