Man Dies After Winning Vodka-Drinking Contest

Wednesday, November 19th, 2003

The “winner” died after downing 1.5 liters of vodka — more than half a liter of pure alcohol (assuming the vodka was 80 proof). Man Dies After Winning Vodka-Drinking Contest:

A vodka-drinking competition in a southern Russian town ended in tragedy with the winner dead and several runners-up in intensive care.

‘The competition lasted 30, perhaps 40 minutes and the winner downed three half-liter bottles. He was taken home by taxi but died within 20 minutes,’ said Roman Popov, a prosecutor pursuing the case in the town of Volgodonsk.

‘Five contestants ended up in intensive care. Those not in hospital turned up the next day, ostensibly for another drink.’

Popov said the director of the shop organizing this month’s contest had been charged with manslaughter. He had offered 10 liters of vodka to the competitor drinking the most in the shortest time.

Russians drink the equivalent of 15 liters of pure alcohol per head annually, one of the highest rates in the world. Some experts estimate one in seven Russians is an alcoholic.

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