Eyes were streaming and foreheads exploded with sweat at the Chilli Eating Championship on Saturday night in Auckland.
34-year-old Josh Shotter took out gold for the second year running.
A crowd of nearly 400 people watched the fire-breathing competition.
The contest involved 24-heats of chillies of varying heats, with the world’s hottest chilli the Carolina Reaper inducing fear in the stomachs of contestants. The chilli is hotter than most pepper sprays.
Shotter said a handful of torturous short and long-term effects of eating chillies included a running nose, hiccups, shaky knees and blurred sight.
Contestants had to sign a disclaimer, and Fire Dragon Chillies director Clint Meyer said anyone unsure if they could handle the heat was discouraged from entering. Contestants were encouraged to throw up afterwards to get the chillies out of their system.