Though some speculated that 32-year-old Eddie Archbold may have been allergic to the discoid roaches he scarfed down by the dozen, the autopsy showed he died of asphyxia "due to choking and aspiration of gastric contents" — namely, "arthropod body parts."
All told Archbold consumed some 35 horn worms, two ounces of meal worms, and an untold number of roaches to win an $850 Ivory Ball python at Ben Siegel Reptiles' inaugural "Eat Bugs for Balls" event.
Though he was alert enough to accept the prize — and reportedly "stoked" — Archbold soon began to vomit and eventually collapsed. He died en route to a local hospital.
All of the other contestants, who were made to sign waivers, reported feeling fine after the contest.
"If you look at it in a real sense, they're just invertebrates - no different than shrimp or crabs," contestant Matthew Karwacki, 26, told the Miami Herald. "If you caught them in baskets in Maryland, people would put Old Bay on them and gobble them down."