What’s the record for the longest Monopoly game?
This post is edited from an episode of the Is That True? Podcast, where host Arionne fact-checks different kid facts and questions. Today’s episode talks about Monopoly and world records, a topic submitted by Lily.
Arionne: Speaking of world records, Lily has a couple of very interesting ones.
Lily: Hi my name is Lily Aponte. I’m 7 years old, and I live in the Bronx.
I read the longest monopoly game ever played was 1680 hours, 70 days. The longest monopoly game in a bathtub was 99 hours long.
‘Cause they can’t go 70 days playing a thing, not eating, not drinking, not using the bathroom—you can’t do that! You can’t!
Arionne: Wow, Lily! That’s a really, REALLY long time.
And I totally understand where you got this fact from. Our producer, Ari, and I also looked up these facts, and we saw the same things on pages like Monopoly fan pages and websites for board game facts. These facts are everywhere! But, like Ari noticed, none of these pages cite direct sources.
Citing a source means that you say exactly where you got a fact from. And none of these websites did that.
That’s all really confusing! But if we don’t know where facts are from, we can’t assume they are true. Instead, we have to ask ourselves: Who would know for sure?
I know that there’s one place that serves as the expert on world records like these. And that’s Guiness Book of World Records.
Brittany: Hi. My name is Brittany Dunn, and I'm an official adjudicator for Guinness World Records, the global authority on record break.
Arionne: So what exactly is an adjudicator?
Brittany: That's a great question. So it's basically a fancy word for judge. I get the opportunity to travel around to different world record breaking attempts. And I am, my job is to enforce the specific rules and the guidelines that are different for every single record that we have on our database.
So I will show up and I'm there to answer any questions and then I'm there to see live what has actually happened for the record attempt. And then if they are successful, I'm also there in person too, um, present them with a certificate and welcome them into the Guinness World Records family a little bit faster than if they were to break the record on their own, and then they'd have to wait for a certificate to come in the mail.
So I'm there, um, to be the representative of Guinness World Records.
Arionne: Wow. I love that. So that is an extremely cool job. How did you get into this kind of work?
Brittany: That is such a great question. You know, I was thinking back to when I was a little girl, and I wanted to be so many different things as I was growing up.
I know one time I wanted to be a lawyer and I would go to court night with my mom and my dad. And I then started getting a little bit worried as I got older. And I said to my parents, I have so many interests. I have so many passions. How can I just pick one job? And as I got older, I started going and exploring my different interests and my hobbies.
I was very into reading. I was very into theater and performing, into science. Um, I loved asking questions. I loved just learning in general. And so when I graduated from college, I had a really interesting job where I got to work with international college students and that kind of piqued my interest into traveling a little bit more.
And I decided I wanted to move to a different country and get some different working experiences outside of America. So I picked China and I moved across the world. And I started working in education, and I started working in fitness and pursuing all the things that interested me at the same time.
And I was really, really lucky because I got to meet someone who worked for Guinness World Records and we got to talking and they got to know me. And they asked me if I would be interested in applying to work with the company, because they thought that my experience working with large groups of people and teaching and, um, having a lot of different working experience was, um, a valuable thing. And that I might be a really good fit as an adjudicator.
And so I applied, and the rest is history.
Arionne: I love that because it shows how we, once we are exposed to different things, then we know we can do them. Like we don't know until we know that that is a job or something that we can do.
Brittany: Right. I never, in my wildest dreams would have pictured, I could work for the company that I had, the book of. Growing up every year, I would get the book and I'd be so excited to look through all the different records and think, well, what could I be a record holder of? And, you know, it's just an amazing company. And I love people, and I love getting to meet people from all over the world and having worked in the China office. I got to see record attempts with thousands of people.
My first record attempt has thousands of people and it was really, really exciting for me to be a representative of a brand that I cared so deeply about. And that I was so excited about.
Arionne: So what was that first event?
Brittany: So the first record that I went to, where I was an official adjudicator was the largest line dance. Um, and it had over 19,000 people. Unfortunately it did fail, but there were thousands of people there and it was quite exciting. Everybody tried.
Yeah. Yes. The dancing was fantastic. But as with all of our records, each one has its own specific set of pages and pages of guidelines that you have to follow. And so I have the utmost respect for anybody that attempts. Again, its world records title because the amount of work that goes into putting on an attempt is a lot.
And so anyone that attempts it, I think, is already on their way to be officially amazing.
Arionne: So is it true that the longest monopoly game ever played was 1,680 hours and that's like 70 days. And then we have a part 2: is it true that the longest monopoly game in a bathtub was 99 hours long?
Brittany: So I'd have to say that as fun as those records sound, unfortunately they are not current Guinness World Records titles.
We do have, with Guinness World Records, we have other monopoly titles. And so some of them include the most people playing monopoly and that's 733.
We have the largest collection of monopoly memorabilia. Another very interesting title related to monopoly is the fastest journey around, um, a monopoly board on foot. And that took place in London. And then one that I think is really interesting. We have the largest monopoly token, which is a car. And I thought that was really interesting as well, but, you know, I think it would be super fun to play monopoly, um, in a bathtub, but we might get pretty wrinkly by the time that we'd finished the game.
I know that I remember playing it with my big brother for hours and I think my hands would be pretty pruny by the time someone won, if we were in a bathtub.
Arionne: I think you're definitely right about that. And what about the longest game ever played? Do we have a record for that or do we know?
Brittany: We currently do not have a record for that.
Arionne: Ah, so unfortunately, there are no current Guinness World Records for the longest Monopoly game played OR the longest game played in a bathtub. There are a lot of possibilities: Perhaps someone else tracked those records. But we cannot prove those facts to be true.
Brittany: You know what? It was really interesting that if anybody would be interested in trying to attempt a Guinness World Records, titles related to monopoly, what they could do is they can go to our website at www.Guinnessworldrecords.com and search on our database. And every time a new title is released, the public would have access to seeing, "Hey, there's a record I'd like to attempt," and what someone could do if they were interested in not, not only following along with what records exist, but "Hey, I want to attempt that," is they can, um, send in an application, and once they send in a free application, they're sent guidelines and then they can figure out, "Hey, do I want to attempt this myself? And maybe I can do this at home with my friends or my family, or I can organize a large-scale attempt and maybe, um, become a brand new Guinness World Records, title holder."
Arionne: Got it. So even though these are not current Guinness World Records, we could attempt to do something like this. If we want to.
And we have new record titles that are created from time to time. So I would definitely keep your eyes open, but at the current moment in 2021, we do not have those exact records on our database. So it doesn't, they don't exist yet, but we don't know, maybe in the future they will.
Arionne: Got it. Is that database also the place that we should fact check, any facts that we learned that we read or see that people tell us?
Brittany: Absolutely. Yeah. So you could spend, I know, um, one of my nephews spends like hours, um, looking up different records, and he can just type in and anyone can just type in different keywords and you can look up, "Oh, hey, I didn't even know that was a record." And anything that you hear, if you hear someone say, oh, I heard this.
They can definitely go to the website, type it in and they can see what comes up and it will tell you if it's a current record, it will be definitely listed on our database and you can see it on the website yourself.
Arionne: Amazing. And do you have any personal records—it doesn't have to be related to monopoly—but do you have any favorites that you just love?
Brittany: Well, I have to say one of my favorites. I had the pleasure of adjudicating this record twice, both in China and recently in the US. It's the most people scooping ice cream, simultaneously. And I have to say, I never thought it would be so much fun to be at a record attempt like this. Not one person was unhappy. Part of our guidelines for any record related to food that we oversee, there can be no food wastage.
That's very, very important to Guinness world records. So any attempt that has, like even the largest item of food or the most people doing something related to food, all the food has to either be eaten and consumed or donated with a plan of where it's going and who it's going to and distributed.
So nothing is wasted. So, at the first attempt that I went to back in 2015, that was in China and everybody got a ton of ice cream. And I don't think there was one person in the crowd who looked unhappy. There was so much joy. Everybody was excited. It was so well organized. And they were the record holder for a little while.
And then recently the record was broken in Florida and I had the pleasure of being there. One of the first, you know, attempts that I've seen in the US that was back in person. So for me, it was really exciting to see people, even though everyone was far away from each other, and it was outside, it was really, really joyous. And it was such a feel good event that I couldn't help, but, you know, keep that record in my heart as one of the best records ever.
Arionne: I love it. I love it. I wish I was there!
Brittany: And the ice cream was delicious in all of these attempts. Um, and I have to say one of my other favorite records is the fastest time to travel 20 meters in a contortion role.
And I have to say that brings me back to my childhood, flipping through the book and thinking of records that wow, like what an amazing achievement, I don't think I would ever be able to do that. And that's just so impressive to me. And you know, for me, I really enjoyed the record because I got to adjudicate it, and I had to run backwards on a runway.
So for me doing my job, extra, extra exciting backwards with a stopwatch on live TV. And the record breaker was the most gracious, lovely woman. And she was so happy and she was just so excited to attempt it. She had no, you know, not a mean thing to say. She wasn't a diva. She was the sweetest person ever.
And I just had such a blast adjudicating that record. And, you know, I was still like, wow, it made me feel like I was a little kid again, like flipping through the Guinness Book of World Records.
Arionne: Yeah. Yeah. So now we have to, well, what are there, are there still physical books available?
Brittany: Oh yeah. Every year we have a big [book] and every year we have different records that are included.
Um, it's not just the current records that are being broken it's records that have been standing from all across time.
Arionne: Well, thank you so very much, Brittany. We appreciate it.
Brittany: Oh, my pleasure. It was so nice to speak with you today. And I would just like to say that my favorite thing about working for Guinness World Records is when I'm at an attempt and I get to talk to kids who are fans of the book, because they make me feel like I'm the most important person ever. And that I'm a rockstar, a little old me.
And they are actually interested in the record itself. They want to know facts. They want to know exact logistics on how to break it. They want to know, um, you know, about my experiences with the record breakers. And I have to say that it reminds me that, you know, celebrating people even doing the smallest little thing and putting effort into something that they deem important can be really special.
And that childlike wonder that they have about our records and about, you know, bringing people together to do cool things like reminds me of, just like, having more fun in life and, and attempting things that, you know, maybe as adults, you know, we kind of don't prioritize anymore because it's not as important to do fun things.
And it's a reminder that we all need to tap into our inner child and we're all gonna enjoy life a lot more.