Each year, over 50,000 people submit applications for bragging rights and recognition from Guinness World Records. While some try to earn previously-recognized titles, others try to carve out spots of their own and set records for the first time.
Charles David Anderson, or David for short, is 78 and lives in Tennille, Georgia, about 75 miles northeast of Macon. He’s trying to set a world record for the most pounds harvested from a single sweet potato plant.
There is currently a Guinness record for the heaviest sweet potato, which was set in March 2004. The sweet potato weighed in at 81 pounds, 9 ounces and was grown by Manuel Pérez Pérez from Güime, Spain.
But there’s no record for the most pounds harvested from a single sweet potato plant. So if Anderson succeeds, he’ll set a new one.
And not all record breakers are human, of course.
Titles like the world’s oldest living cat and the world’s shortest dog can change hands as well. Bobi, who held the title of the world’s oldest living dog, passed away at 31 last month.
Here’s what to know about becoming a world record holder and how you can apply.
How do I apply for a Guinness World Record?
People who wish to set records with Guinness must go to the Guinness website and make an account. Once they are signed in, they must search for the record they are interested in.
If there is no record for what they’re trying to gain recognition for, they can click “Apply for a new record title” at the bottom of the page.
Guinness’ records management team reviews the applications, which can take 12 to 15 weeks after submission, said Kylie Galloway, a spokesperson for Guinness World Records North America, in an email to USA TODAY.
According to Guinness, the franchise receives nearly 1,000 applications each week, so it has capped applications for each individual to three applications within 24 hours.
Galloway, the Guinness spokesperson, said the standard application is free. Once the application is accepted, Guinness will send the applicant a set of guidelines that apply to the category they’ve applied to. The guidelines include evidence they need to submit as well, which will allow the team to verify the records.
It’s free to apply for existing record titles but anyone applying for a new record must pay a $5 non-refundable administration fee plus tax.
For more information on applying for Guinness World Records, visit www.tinyurl.com/NewGuinness.