Fame comes and goes, but the record for most balloons inflated nasally in three minutes (28) can last a long time. Having your name in the Guinness World Records, a product that organically grew out of weird bar bets, is not only an honor, it is also a more achievable goal that rising to power or starting a game at Madison Square Garden. The key, according to Mike Janela, one of the U.S. judges who adjudicate record attempts, is to have a plan.
“We get 1,000 applications a week,” Janela says. “That’s everyone from a kid saying he has the coolest dog to someone going for a speed record.” He adds that only 2 percent of world record inquiries end up earning the official Guinness certificate of approval. Being the best in the world at something is apparently harder than it looks.
We asked Janela for his help understanding the process of making a record-setting attempt and sending proof to the judges. He gave us a quick guide to getting our name in the book.