Seven Sharp's Rhys Mathewson eats world's hottest pepper at NZ chilli eating champs

Seven Sharp reporter Rhys Mathewson bravely, or foolishly, took on the challenge of eating the world’s hottest pepper at New Zealand’s sixth annual hot sauce festival this weekend.

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The reporter went along to the New Zealand Hot Sauce Festival. Source: Seven Sharp

The festival saw hot sauce enthusiasts descend on central Auckland on Saturday, to test out the hottest of the hot sauces Aotearoa has to offer.

The festival culminated in the national chilli eating championship.

Last year’s winner Jessie Painter was there to defend his title.

“It’s just euphoric as man,” Painter said of eating the hottest chillies around.

Buoyed by that endorsement, Seven Sharp’s Rhys Mathewson decided to give it a go himself.

It didn’t go so well…

Mathewson threw himself in the deep end by munching down on a Carolina Reaper, the hottest pepper on the planet coming in at 1.2 million on the scoville heat ranking scale.

For reference a jalapeno is just 8000 on the same scale.

Watch Mathewson lose his battle with the flaming hot pepper in the video above.