A Colorado man fatally choked Sunday (Monday NZ time) while trying to eat a large doughnut.

Travis Malouff, 42, was at Voodoo Doughnut in Denver participating in the chain's "Tex-Ass Challenge", where the goal is to eat a one-pound glazed doughnut - the equivalent of six Voodoo doughnut - in 80 seconds or less.

Participants are allowed to drink liquids and dunk the doughnut, according to contest rules, the Daily Mail reports.

Winners don't have to pay for the $4.50 doughnut and receive a button that reads: "I won the Tex-Ass Challenge".

Advertisement
Travis was at Voodoo Doughnut in Denver participating in the chain's 'Tex-Ass Challenge', where the goal is to eat a one-pound donut in 80 seconds or less. Photo / Facebook
Travis was at Voodoo Doughnut in Denver participating in the chain's 'Tex-Ass Challenge', where the goal is to eat a one-pound donut in 80 seconds or less. Photo / Facebook

"It's tragic," Malouff's father, Curtis, told 9News. "It's a loss of life that shouldn't be."

Witnesses rushed to help Malouff when they saw that he was choking on the doughnut but were unable to perform the Heimlich maneuver because they weren't trained to do so.

Officials arrived at the popular doughnut shop around 1.30am on Sunday (local time) in the 1500 block of East Colfax Avenue after they were notified that Malouff was choking.

But it was too late. Malouff died in the shop's lobby from "asphyxia, due to obstruction of the airway," the Denver Office of the Medical Examiner announced.

"It's too much food for one person, even as the size that he was," witness Julia Edelstein told 9News. "That's too much for someone to eat. He was trying to force it down."

Foul play is not suspected, according to Denver police.

Voodoo Doughnut said they are "saddened by what happened" and are cooperating with police.

Curtis Malouff described his son as an "energetic and open-minded person".

"If a challenge is there - he'd probably take it," Malouff said.

Travis Malouff is survived by his father, mother Kay Malouff and brother Ferris Malouff.

Travis' death comes after a 20-ear-old woman in the United States died after choking during a pancake-eating competition on the weekend.

Caitlin Nelson, 20, of Clark, New Jersey, passed away Sunday at Columbia University Medical Center in New York City.