Utah Man Hospitalized After Winning Eggnog Chugging Contest

Ryan Roche won a $50 gift card, and a trip to the hospital.

ByABC News
December 23, 2014, 2:11 PM

— -- A Utah man was rushed to the hospital after he chugged a quart of eggnog in 12 seconds during a contest at an office holiday party, he said.

"Everyone knows I'm pretty competitive," Ryan Roche of Lehi, Utah, told ABC News today, explaining how his colleagues talked him into participating just as he was leaving the party with his family earlier this month.

"I just decided I was going to win. So I pretty much just opened it up and poured it down my throat," he said.

Roche, 33, said he shaved 10 seconds off the previous best time of 22 seconds that day, earning him bragging rights and a $50 gift certificate to Ruth's Chris Steak House. But the glory was short-lived: Later, at home, he started to feel sick.

"Two hours later I was laying on the couch, shaking uncontrollably, nauseous, having fevers and panting," said Roche, who works in sales.

His friend took him to the hospital while his wife stayed home with their three children.

In Roche's case, the eggnog may have literally gone down the wrong pipe, Dr. Robert Schilz of University Hospitals in Cleveland explained. The eggnog, which was booze-free, may have crept into Roche's windpipe, triggering pneumonia.

Roche spent a full day in the ICU and two more days recovering at the hospital.

"It was not fun," Roche said. "It took me a full week of recovery to be 100 percent."

Nearly two weeks later, he says the jokes won't stop at work.

"People are emailing me pictures of eggnog ... it never gets old," he said. "I'm pretty competitive but, unfortunately, in this situation it got the best of me. But it's become quite the story."