Pitchman Billy Mays Was on the Powder

An autopsy reveals Billy Mays had cocaine in his system as he suffered heart attack

By Todd Wright
|  Saturday, Aug 8, 2009  |  Updated 9:00 AM EDT
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2009 in Memoriam

AP

TV pitchman Billy Mays, known for his boisterous hawking of products such as Orange Glo and OxiClean, died with coke in his system.

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Billy Mays would pitch and pitch and pitch until he got you to buy some special broom, magical putty or electric drill.

Turns out the man synonymous with $19.95 was on some special stuff himself.

The Hillsborough County Medical Examiner's Office has ruled that Mays had used cocaine just days before his June 28 death at his Tampa home. The official ruling is Mays, 50, died of heart disease, but toxicology reports revealed he had a cocktail of drugs in his system, including hydrocodone, oxycodone and tramadol.

Those prescription drugs were to help with his hip pain. But no one can explain the coke, which could have contributed to his death, doctors said.

"Cocaine can raise the arterial blood pressure, directly cause thickening of the wall of the left ventricle of the heart, and accelerate the formation of atherosclerosis in the coronary arteries," the press release stated.

The report also notes that he had a family history of heart disease.

Mays always seemed packed with endless energy as he patented his “shout and sell” approach all the way to stardom. Apparently he had a little boost.

Mays' family denied the allegations Saturday, saying they had no idea the OxyClean pitchman was on any non-prescription drugs.

""We were totally unaware of any non-prescription drug usage and are actively considering an independent evaluation of the autopsy results," The Associated Press reported Mays' family said in a statement.

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