Charles Darwin at a green chalkboard.

2000 Darwin Awards

Honoring Charles Darwin, the father of evolution, Darwin Awards commemorate those who improve our gene pool--by removing themselves from it in the most spectacular way possible.

Shocking Fall
2000 Darwin Award Winner
Confirmed True by Darwin

(1 January 2000, Nevada) 26-year-old Tod made a place for himself in history by being the first person to die celebrating the millennium. Minutes before midnight, the Stanford graduate climbed to the top of a street light in front of the Paris Las Vegas Hotel and waved to the enthusiastic revellers below. At midnight he slipped and, in an effort to break his fall, grabbed the wires that were supplying the electricity to the street light. Suddenly he was conducting more than a cheering crowd. A camera caught his foolhardy climb and subsequent headfirst plunge to the concrete below. It has not yet been determined whether he died from electrocution or from the 30-foot fall, but either way, he deserves the first Darwin Award of the new millennium!

Footnote: Tod was a Stanford graduate working at a Silicon Valley startup scheduled to go public in the summer. He stood to make a substantial profit with his options, until they were voided by his untimely death. Clearly, a sterling academic pedigree is no indication of common sense. Before leaving to Vegas, one friend said, "People are going to be doing crazy things. Be careful." Tod replied, "You know I won't." Friends pondering his death said, "He thought he was invincible." "He used to climb the Golden Gate Bridge." "He would never do something stupid."

Staci watched "all the media about Tod's daring act of stupidity" and says, "what is even more Darwin is that other spectators climbed on to traffic lights to get a better view of the deceased. Monkey see, monkey do." © 1994 - 2022
Submitted by: Clyde McWhorter, John Dooley
Louis Perrochon, Stephen Venneman, Ronnie Wexler
Reference: Las Vegas Sun, Yahoo! News, AP, San Jose Mercury News, KCBS

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