Despicable: Radio station tricks woman into killing herself to win a Wii for her kids

The details and comment from the radio station are still slim, but what we do know is simply despicable. The radio station held a contest based on the very short-supply of Wii game consoles in which contestants would have to drink lots and lots of water, but weren’t allowed to “wee” (ha. ha.)

Anyone that knows anything about basic human biology, or anyone that has ever trained for a marathon, should know that this is a prescription for death. Too much water over a short period of time, forced down, is deadly, especially when you aren’t allowed to urinate. Your body cannot compensate for the fluid imbalances.

And, in fact, this mother of three did, in fact, die, in a perfectly classic and by-the-book “water overdose” manner. Which of course no one recognized or did anything about (not even clear if the station had any medical resources on hand for the contest). The contest was basically no different than “how much hemlock can you drink!!!”: in other words, having people compete to see how much of a certain substance they could take in… when there was a chance of people would easily get to or over and start competing over a fatal dose.

The radio station? “We are awaiting information that will help explain how this tragic event occurred”

How about this: you MORONS organized a contest based on a dumb pee pee joke in which contestants were encouraged to unknowingly drink themselves to death. I’m assuming that the station didn’t know anything about fluid imbalances and were just ignorant to the health risks and just thought that water is harmless and 100% healthy. But you know what? This is EXACTLY why its not always a bad thing to have to have a boatload of lawyers around to go through and research and assess liability for the dumb things corporations decide to do and, in this case, encourage other people do.

The mother, certainly, should probably have looked into what they were having the contestants do and what the effects on herself might be and certainly shares some responsibility. But I can only assume that she never even considered that the radio station would have them do something potentially deadly, and trusted them to know what they were doing.


You expect the sort of people who work for a local radio station to know about physiology to this extent, or do any research at all? Sure, there’s always a diamond in the rough, but come on. Given the egregious scientific and factual errors, as well as the overall frat-boyesque-dumbass-jokery, I hear on a daily basis listening to radio DJs, I wouldn’t be surprised if next time they held a bobbing-for-french-fries contest.

But they are employees of what are generally huge corporations, which generally care a hell of a lot about liability and generally have a responsibility to watch up what is being done with their money on their time in their name. In this case, they obviously didn’t bother to do even a basic liability lookup on a contest in which contestants were putting their lives at risk.

This is a joke, I hope. If not, they are really, really stupid - don’t radio stations run their contests by somebody who is trained to think about such things??

No, and no.

Let’s see, given that a local radio station here has done such things as farting contests, flown a person to another State to shit in someone else’s swimming pool, called SO’s of people and pretended like they were a mistress/boytoy looking for the other SO and pretended to be banks foreclosing on houses, tried to get people to have homemade sex toy contests (“build your own Sybian out of leftover parts!”) with on-air trials, I’d say these media “corporations” are more concerned with suing MP3 downloaders than overseeing what the local radio affiliate fauna are up to.

I went to High School with one of the most popular radio DJ’s here. He was the sort of oppositional-defiant stoner who thought shoving firecrackers up a cat’s ass was the height of comedy.

You do realize this is already posted on MPSIMS???

It would not take a heck of a lot of research to see this event could only end in disaster. The military has been on top of this for years. Dehydration is an issue, and the military learned the opposite can happen. They called it dry land drowning. I hope those responsible for this contest are held accountable. Perhaps not for manslaughter, but reckless endangerment seems to fit.

And this is the Pit. Slightly different, wouldn’t you say?


No to the first question. Importantly, yes to the second. Of course they should be ensuring that the fundamental principle of a contest is safe.

Wouldn’t it be great to see Nintendo sued for having such a stupid name in the first place?

We could, in fact, perfectly validly have a thread on this subject in almost every forum on this board.

Pit: Despicable: Radio station tricks woman into killing herself to win a Wii for her kids

MPSIMS: Woman dies from DHMO consumption

IMHO: Would you take part in this contest?

CS: Is this a typical radio station contest?

GD: Is this radio station contest ethical?

GQ: How does a water overdose affect the body?

COCC or COSR: A comment on the water overdosing column

ATMB: Are we really allowed to to have all these water overdosing threads?
And they’d all draw different types of answers, and they’d all be good. shrug Sorry about that.

Given that radio jocks are fired all the time for stupidity, this doesn’t seem hard to believe.

Prediction: The radio station and its parent will be sued successfully and will at least pay to have her three kids comfortable for the rest of their lives.

Of course, that’s cold comfort to her three kids. Many, many people should lose their comfortable livings about this. Bastards.

Let me be the first person to welcome our new junior moderator.

At least now a lot more people will know what water intoxication is, and maybe in the future some lives will be saved.

No, that isn’t at all comforting to me either.

Actually, I take issue with the general thrust of these comments. I pay attention to a lot of medical news–even more since I have been married to a nurse for 23 years–and I had never heard of this sort of death prior to about five years ago.

This may be old news to athletes and people involved in sports medicine, but I suspect that the typical person-on-the-street (including a DJ) has no clue about this sort of thing.

Is it tragic? certainly.
Is it a huge door through which the woman’s family can drive a wrongful death suit, (based on the radio station not taking the time to vet any of their DJs’ idiotic contests)? Pretty much.

Accusations of malice or that the promoters acted in willfull disregard of “common knowledge,” however, seem to be misplaced.

Those poor kids! :mad: I hope the radio station learns to it’s chagrin that it is at fault for this. Ignorance is no excuse, they are supposed to research the potential liablilities before going through with any contest. I wonder how many conniptions their insurance carrier is having right now? (And where were they anyways, they at the least should have raised objections and told them “NO!” with regards to holding the contest. Maybe they didn’t know about it until after the fact though.)

A real Mod (Frank) beat you to it. Sorry for mentioning it, my bad.


Maybe if they’re fans of “MAS*H”. “Water overdose” phenomena figured into plots in '75 and '79.