A doughnut-eating contest in Denver turned deadly for one man.
Travis Malouff, 42, joined a Denver doughnut shop's eating challenge and tried to eat a half-pound glazed doughnut in less than a minute and a half. It’s extremely a difficult challenge. Unfortunately for Malouff, it led to a tragic ending. He died from the doughnut-eating contest.
Witness Julia Edelstein said that the mood was festive at Voodoo Doughnuts that night of Malouff's unexpected death. Voodoo Doughnuts is known for its creative and colorful $3-doughnuts. It was around closing time already, and people waiting for their turn to buy doughnuts were even singing and dancing to the blaring music in the shop. Edelstein later heard a shop employee announcing the eating challenge, and asking the crowd to give Malouff applause.
The contest entailed participants to eat a doughnut the size of a small cake. Edelstein said Malouff tore the doughnut in half and started eating it. He looked pretty determined as he walked around, added Edelstein. The employee then announced that 30 seconds have passed. Edlestein said Malouff then took a sip of water, then another bite of the doughnut. Suddenly, Malouff hunched over the counter and surprisingly started pounding on it.
Edelstein thought- as everyone else did- that Malouff was merely distressed. Nobody realized that he was in great danger. Malouff was still holding a portion of the doughnut in his hand when he turned away from the counter . His face was already blue, and then he just collapsed. Two customers caught his fall and tried to desperately help him until paramedics arrived.
Police said Malouff died on the scene. Malouff died of asphyxia due to obstruction of the airway. It was tragic and pitiful considering that the supposedly harmless contest would only give free doughnut to winners and a simple button saying they won the challenge.
Surprisingly, another eating contest claimed a life of 20-year old Caitlin Nelson choked during a pancake-eating contest and died days earlier at Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, Connecticut.
Edelstein was left shocked with the tragic incident as she said they were just having fun. They were not even running in front of cars or playing with guns that can cause death, and not the seemingly harmless doughnut-eating contest. Yet the harmless, clean fun turned deadly in a matter of minutes.
Both Voodoo Doughnuts and Malouff's family did not comment about the death.