GURNEE, Ill. (AP) - Why wait in line when you can just eat a cockroach? That's the question Six Flags Great America is asking its thrill seekers during its Halloween-themed FrightFest. The amusement park is daring customers to eat a live Madagascar hissing cockroach in exchange for unlimited line-jumping privileges.
The promotion, which has Lake County Health Department officials shaking their heads, starts Oct. 7.
Anyone who chows down the entire 2- to 3-inch horned cockroach gets a pass for four people to cut to the front of ride lines through Oct. 29.
Park officials insist it's safe to eat the crunchy critters, but health officials are cautioning participants.
Consuming live roaches might increase risks of gastrointestinal illness and allergies, according to Bill Mays, Lake County Health Department's community health director.
Cockroach eaters will have to sign waivers and still pay admission fees, said Six Flags spokesman James Taylor.
The bug buffet continues with a cooked roach eating contest Oct. 13 - Friday, Oct. 13.
Taylor says he's hoping someone can beat the 2001 Guinness Book of World Records feat in which a British man downed 36 cockroaches.
"I've heard people say, 'Wow,"Ew,' a lot of one-worders," Taylor said. "A lot have said that they wouldn't eat a cockroach, but they sure would like to see someone else do it."
i be the first to give that person to wash it down!