It was all supposed to be fun, according to Travis Malouff’s friends. However, the 42-year-old died Sunday while participating in a Doughnut eating challenge at Voodoo Doughnut in East Colfax Avenue in Denver. Reportedly Malouff was attempting to eat a half-pound glazed doughnut in just 80 seconds, which the doughnut store would then allow him to have for free, along with a button to show he won the challenge. According to the coroner, Malouff died of asphyxia from the obstruction of his airway during the eating challenge.

Doughnut the size of a small cake

Calling the doughnut the size of a small cake, Malouff’s friend Julia Edelstein said everyone in the store was dancing and singing along to the music playing in the Voodoo Doughnut store. She suddenly heard the doughnut eating challenge being announced by an employee and watched as Malouff started eating the huge doughnut, reportedly walking around the store and looking determined. Just after the employee announced that 30 seconds had gone by, Malouff took a sip of water and carried on biting into the huge pastry. This is when everything started going wrong and he suddenly leaned over the counter, pounding on it in distress.

According to a report by 9News, Edelstein says nobody in the doughnut store realized what was happening to Malouff.

However, the next moment he turned and collapsed, with two customers breaking his fall. His face was blue and the customers tried to help him while waiting for paramedics to arrive, but they reportedly didn’t know the Heimlich maneuver. Paramedics arrived at the Colfax store at around 1:30 a.m. but Malouff died at the scene.

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Edelstein says she is still in shock that an eating contest could go so wrong, so fast, saying they were just out having fun. She said it was just too much food for one person and that Malouff was trying to force the huge doughnut down.

Contest cancelled by Voodoo Doughnuts

Voodoo Doughnuts, a company well known for its colorful pastries, has now cancelled the contest.

The company said in a statement they were saddened by the incident and are cooperating with police. Denver police said the incident appeared to be accidental.

According to NBC San Diego, Malouff’s father, Curtis Malouff described his son as an “energetic and open-minded person” who had an infectious laugh and smile. He said Travis was always up for a challenge.

The incident happened on the same day that Caitlin Nelson, 20, choked while participating in a pancake-eating contest in Fairfield, Connecticut. Nelson later passed away in hospital.