EDMOND, Okla. — More than 800 members of the University of Central Oklahoma community descended on Wantland Stadium for Thumbmania Tuesday, as students and faculty set a world record for the longest continuous chain of thumb war.
An unofficial tally of 872 participants broke the previous record of 846, set by the University of Missouri at Rolla, according to Courtney James, assistant director of campus activities. The official record listed on the Guinness World Records web site is 310, set in June 2011 in the United Kingdom.
“We beat the record! I am so excited,” said Kay Robinson, director of campus activities. “We really appreciate the students coming out.”
To break the record, participants were required to stay locked together hand-in-hand and play continuously for five minutes.
“I came out because I wanted to be a part of getting in the Guinness Book of World Records,” said Jared Styles, freshman marketing major. “We will not be beaten this year, or a few months later.”
If the count is confirmed, this will be UCO’s second world record in as many years. In August 2011, UCO set a world record for the largest game of “Duck Duck Goose” with 1,636 participants. That record was broken a few months later when 2135 participants played in Rogersville, Mo., on Oct. 7.
“I think it’s fun, and people seem to enjoy the process,” said UCO President Don Betz. “The reputation of the university doesn’t rise or fall on Thumbmania, but for the students who will be out here tonight, they’ll have a wonderful time, they’ll share in a record they will probably break and have a wonderful memory to take with them. Then, they will be back in class tomorrow morning.”
Guinness World Records will have to confirm the unofficial count before UCO is named the record holder. Robinson said that the official count would be announced in two to three weeks.