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Mass. teen dies after participating in spicy ‘one chip challenge’

EMS was called to the Worcester home after the teen had become sick and fainted after eating a chip seasoned with Carolina Reaper and Scorpion peppers



By Cliff Pinckard

WORCESTER, Mass.— The family of a high school student who died suddenly on Friday believes his death might have been caused by the “one chip challenge,” in which a person eats a chip that is spiced with extremely hot peppers.

Harris Wolobah, 14, died at his home on Sept. 1, according to a GoFundMe page set up by a family member. Worcester Public Schools, where Wolobah was a sophomore at Doherty Memorial High School, released a statement confirming his death.

“As a mother and educator, I cannot imagine how hard this is on his family, friends and teachers,” Superintendent Rachel Monárrez said in a statement. “My heart goes out to all who knew and loved him.”

Results of an autopsy have not been released yet. But the gofundme page for Wolobah says he took part in the “One Chip Challenge” by snack company Paqui. The challenge involves eating a chip laced with Carolina Reaper and Scorpion peppers, reports.

After eating the chip, Wolobah went to see the nurse at the high school because he was feeling sick, WCVB Channel 5 reports. He then left school and reportedly fainted shortly after arriving home.

He was taken by an ambulance to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

“The pain our family is experiencing is unimaginable,” the gofundme page says. “Harris was a light that lit up the room with his presence and subtle charm. He was an intelligent, quirky and incredibly talented young man who loved video games and playing basketball!”

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