Eating / drinking contest fatalities by country

Updated Nov 20 2014

The Rapid City Journal has an article about Walter Eagle Tail passing away after competing in a hot dog eating contest in Custer, SD on Thursday reporting that paramedics were present at the contest site, but unable to revive the 47 year old. The article has been picked up by the Associated Press.

A list of known fatalities from eating / drinking contests follows:

  • USA
    1906 Johnsburg, IL Frank Miller dies after competing in a Limburger cheese eating contest
    1983 North Carolina Marine dies in donut eating contest at the Cherry Point Marine Corps Air Station
    1999 Chicago, a 12 year old school girl dies playing “Chubby Bunny” in an unsupervised classroom. The goal of “Chubby Bunny” is to say “Chubby Bunny” after stuffing one’s mouth with as many marshmallows as possible.
    2007 Sacramento, woman dies of water intoxication after competing in a bladder endurance contest sponsored by a radio station.
    2010 San Pedro, California 13 year old Noah Akers choked on a hot dog topped with whipped cream at a fundraiser for Haiti
    2012 Deerfield Beach, Florida Eddy Archbold dies after winning an insect eating contest held at a reptile store
    2014 Custer, SD Walter Eagle Tail passes away after choking in a July 3 hot dog eating contest.
  • India
    2007 India, man (believed to be epileptic) dies from breathing complications in an idli eating contest
    2008 India, engineer at Nokia Siemens of India chokes after making a pastry eating bet at a company party.
    2009 Hyderabad, India Bandu Joshi dies after stuffing 6 laddus into his mouth
    2013 India, 13 year old schoolboy Bharat Sharma chokes to death after attempting to swallow two idlis
    2014 India, 52 year old man chokes to death in idli eating contest
  • UK
    2008 Wales, man dies in unplanned post party cupcake contest to use up left over buffet food. Articles about the contest do not make it clear if the contest was a mouth-stuffing contest or a speed eating contest
    2013 England Sharon Dixon passes away after choking on boiled eggs at a pub’s eating contest
    2014 Berkeley, England Former Royal Marine Gary Simms chokes in pickled egg eating contest.
  • Canada
    2004 Canada man dies after choking in chicken wing eating contest held at Regina bar.
    2006 Canada, woman dies in “Chubby Bunny” contest held at Ontario fair
  • Japan
    2002 Japan, school boy dies in cafeteria after attempting a stunt seen on a televised eating contest.
    2004 Japan, housewife dies in bread eating contest in Fukusaki, Hyogo Prefecture
  • Taiwain
    2008 Taiwan graduate student dies after victory in a steamed bun eating contest
  • Russia
    2009 Kaliningrad, Russia Boris Isaev chokes in pancake eating contest
  • Thailand
    2010 Phetchchaburi, Thailand 66 year old Hing Laichan dies after choking in noodle eating contest
  • Ukraine
    2011 Tokmak, Ukraine 77 year old Ivan Mendel wins dumpling eating contest, then dies
    2014 Staryl, Ukraine Lyana Koroleva experienced a heart attack while claiming her prize for winning a vareniki (dumpling) eating contest
  • Tunisia
    2012 Tunisia Dau Fatnassi dies after eating 28 raw eggs to win a bet
  • Australia
    2013 Australia 64 year old Bruce Holland experiences a fatal heart attack while participating in a tavern’s chilli pie eating contest
  • Spain
    2013 Spain Joaquín Alcaraz Gracia passes away after winning a beer drinking contest
  • Romania
    2013 Romania unnamed 60 year old chokes to death in a sausage eating contest.

Comments (7)


  1. gourmand said (Registered December 1, 2013)

    July 8, 2014 @ 3:12 pm

    There are also fatalities than are CE-related, but not actually caused by eating or drinking, such as Scott Bickel’s death. His loss at the Ohio qualifier certainly contributed toward his unfortunate demise. Sort of like when someone dies of a heart attach while shoveling snow after a blizzard; they count that as a blizzard death.

  2. Anonymous said

    July 8, 2014 @ 5:29 pm

    Jesus. Why would you say that?

  3. anonymous said

    July 8, 2014 @ 9:42 pm

    That means that any competitive eater around age of 45 has a very strong chance of suffering same fate . If your 50 and over you have nothing to worry about

  4. anonymous said

    July 8, 2014 @ 10:08 pm

    Watch obsessed human beings like joey chestnut practice once a week with 70 hotdogs and then hear about this tragic event

  5. anonymous said

    July 8, 2014 @ 10:16 pm

    Ok a slight correction needs to be made . The man choked and then went into cardiac arrest Big difference from eating hotdogs and having heart attack. Still scary but not as bad as what we assumed actually traspired

  6. anonymous said

    July 9, 2014 @ 11:14 am

    If you dont know what your doing you can choke which will sometimes cause one to go into cardiac arrest Same as putting a 5 yr old behind the wheel of a car or letting someone drive a motorcycle for the first time in their life Deadly consequences might occur

  7. Rhonda Evans said (Registered March 6, 2008)

    July 9, 2014 @ 11:37 am

    I strongly suspect that there is a positive correlation between the popularity of CE, as defined by the number of internationally-publicized events, and the number of related fatalities, which, in turn, will likely result in decreased popularity.

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