Massachusetts boy lost his life on Friday, and his family suspects it’s connected to the viral ‘One Chip Challenge.’
The challenge, which involves consuming an exceptionally spicy Paqui chip and enduring the heat without any relief, has gained popularity on social media.
According to Harris Wolobah’s mother, Lois Wolobah, her 14-year-old son fell ill after eating the fiery chip at school. Though he initially seemed to recover when she picked him up, he later passed out at home, just before basketball tryouts. Rushed to a local hospital, he was pronounced dead.
While the precise cause of death remains unconfirmed, an autopsy is pending. Worcester Public Schools is now offering emotional support to students and staff following this tragic incident.
Worcester Schools Superintendent Rachel Monarrez expressed her condolences, acknowledging the loss of a “rising star” at Doherty Memorial High School.
The ‘One Chip Challenge’ is promoted by the chip’s manufacturer, Paqui, known for its spicy creations. The chip contains Carolina Reaper Pepper and Naga Viper Pepper, touted as a “truly twisted experience” on the company’s website.
Paqui advises that only adults attempt the challenge and cautions against it for those sensitive to spicy food or with allergies. The company also warns of potential medical effects and urges immediate medical attention if participants experience “difficulty breathing, fainting, or extended nausea.”
Furthermore, the company emphasises the importance of hand hygiene after handling the chip to prevent contact with sensitive areas like the eyes.
Paqui’s spokesperson stressed their commitment to safety and clear product labelling. They aim to ensure that consumers fully understand the nature of the challenge before attempting it.