A broad variety of tiddlywinks record events have been conceived, conducted, and claimed since 1960. This article documents these record events and claims, so far as we have discerned.
Some tiddlywinks records have been recognized by the Guinness Book of (World) Records; plus some were recognized by them in the past but are no longer; and additional ones are recognized by them now but weren’t in the past. Some tiddlywinks records have never been recognized by Guinness.
Some tiddlywinks records historically have been recognized by NATwA and/or ETwA, regardless of whether Guinness has recognized them. These records are also described in this article.
Plus, a variety of additional tiddlywinks record events have been invented by winkers throughout winking history along with records of achievement claimed that may or may not have been recognized by any authority.
All of the tiddlywinks record events described in this article should be considered to be valid attempts at setting an interesting record. However, it is not always the case that suitable evidence was recorded at the event, or retained for posterity, to validate the actual record performance. Therefore, some of the tiddlywinks records described on this page, while generally considered bona fide according to the norms of the times when claimed, and still accepted as records, cannot always be revalidated as records based on retained affidavits and evidence.
Please also note that the statistics resulting from analyzing data across a variety of individual games played in tournament events are considered to be winks statistics rather than tiddlywinks records. Hence, having the highest points-per-game in a particular tournament or season would be noted in a statistical analysis report, not in a tiddlywinks record.
Guinness Book of Records—Tiddlywinks World Records
The Guinness Book of Records organization has recognized a variety of tiddlywinks world records since the 1960s, though the selection of which tiddlywinks world record events are recognized by them has changed quite significantly over time. (Note: Guinness began publishing world records in August 1955.) The current tiddlywinks world records included in the Guinness Book of Records online database (though some haven’t been updated in a number of years) as of 13 September 2022 are:
- Fastest potting of 24 winks
- Fastest potting of 10,000 winks
- Most tiddlywinks potted in 3 minutes
- Fastest 100 m tiddlywinks
- Most wins of Tiddlywinks World Championships singles
- Most wins of Tiddlywinks World Championships Pairs
- North American Championships (Tiddlywinks)
- English National Championships (Tiddlywinks)
- Tiddlywinks, fastest mile (individual)
- Tiddlywinks – fastest mile (team of two)
- Longest wink shot in tiddlywinks
- Farthest distance travelled playing tiddlywinks in 24 hours
- Highest wink shot in tiddlywinks
The above records haven’t always been recognized nor published by Guinness over the years. In addition, a wide variety of additional tiddlywinks records have been published by Guinness in the past. It should also be noted that in some years, Guinness published different tiddlywinks records in its American books than in its British books.
Please note that IFTwA, NATwA, and ETwA are not party to selecting the tiddlywinks world record events selected for publication by the Guinness Book of Records (as it has typically been titled in the UK) nor the Guinness Book of World Records (as it was for many years titled in the USA).
Should anyone be interested in attempting to exceed current Guinness-recognized world records for any tiddlywinks events, we recommend that you investigate Guinness requirements before embarking upon any attempt to set or break a world record.
As apropos, historical documentation of Guinness-recognized tiddlywinks world records will be noted elsewhere on this page once discovered and validated. We observe that some tiddlywinks world records published by Guinness in some cases do not reflect tiddlywinks world records recognized by NATwA or ETwA.
In addition to records elsewhere identified on this web page as published by Guinness, here are a couple more Guinness-published records (and this is just a small sample, given the many years that the Guinness Book of (World) Records have been published:
- Guinness Trophy
1980: England has remained unbeaten against Scotland, Ireland, and Wales since the Trophy’s inception on 7 May 1960
- Silver Wink Trophy
1980: Has been won a record six times by Cambridge University to 1979
Official Records—Generally Accepted by NATwA and ETwA
Following are tiddlywinks records that generally have been recognized by NATwA and/or ETwA , along with guidelines for setting such records. In some cases, these records were reported in an informal way, and verification of them retrospectively may not be possible.
Some or all of the following records may or may not be currently recognized by the Guinness Book of Records though some may have been recognized by them in the past.
See also the English Tiddlywinks Association records page.
Accuracy—Pot from the Line
Objective: pot 12 small winks from 3 feet in the minimum number of shots.
- 21 shots, by Larry Kahn, in July 1978;
equaled later by Dave Lockwood in 1987 (to be confirmed)
- 23 shots, by Michael Brogden of Hull University, in October 1962 (per Winking World 3);
equaled by Alan Cooper of the Altrincham Grammar School, on 3 January 1964;
equaled by Jim King of Ealing Grammar School, on 2 May 1965;
equaled by Gerry Courtney of Exeter University, on 18 January 1967 (per Winking World 11, page 7);
equaled by Nick Inglis and Andy Purvis, on 21 October 1989 (per Winking World 55, page 60)
- 24 shots, by Peter Kershaw of the Manchester Grammar School, as of March 1961 (per Winking World 1):
- 25 shots, by Peter Downes, as of October 1960 (per Winking World 0)
Speed—24 Small Winks
Objective: pot 24 small winks from 18 inches in the shortest time possible.
- 21.8 seconds, by Steve Williams of the Altrincham Grammar School, as of October 1966 (per Winking World 10, page 9)—which equates to 1.1 winks per second
- 23.7 seconds, by Steve Williams of the Altrincham Grammar School, on 5 January 1966 (per Winking World 9, page 7)
- 26.5 seconds, by Allen Astles of the Altrincham Grammar School, on 3 January 1964 (per Winking World 5)
- 33 seconds, by Allen Astles of the Altrincham Grammar School, on 15 June 1963 (per Winking World 4)
- 35 seconds, by Robert Goodsman of the Flying Disc Tiddlywinks Club, as of March 1961 (per Winking World 1)
equalled by Allen Astles of the Altrincham Grammar School, on 2 January 1962 (per Winking World 3)
- 39 seconds, by J. K. Bardsley of the Cambridge University Tiddlywinks Club, as of October 1960 (per Winking World 0)
Rules: 12 winks are placed 15 inches from the first of a row of four pots. One winker is stationed at each of the four pots. At the word “go”, the player on number one pot squidges the winks as fast as possible into the pot. As soon as he gets one in, player no. 2 removes it and places it 15 inches from pot 2, and squidges it for his pot. So on all the way through the four pots. The object is to get as many winks as possible through all four pots in three minutes. A second set of 12 winks can only be started when all of the first 12 are in the fourth pot, in which case they are removed from the fourth pot.
- 44 winks by Graham J. Stamper, John Bartholomew, Gerry Courtney, and Derek Ringer of Exeter University, on 15 February 1967 (per Winking World 11, page 7)
- 42 winks, by Andy Noakes, Jones, Steve Williams and Allen Astles of Altrincham Grammar School, on 7 July 1964 (per Winking World 6)
equalled by Graham Stamper, John Bartholomew, Gerry Courtney, and Derek Ringer of Exeter University, on 11 February 1967 (per Winking World 11, page 7)
- 41 winks, by Patrick Barrie, Nick Inglis, Geoff Myers, and Andy Purvis, on 21 October 1989 (per Winking World 55, page 60, and per ETwA.org, retrieved 20 January 2020)
- 40 winks, by the Altrincham Grammar School team, on 18 June 1963 (per Winking World 4)
- 39 winks, by the Flying Disk Tiddlywinks Club, Birmingham, as of March 1961 (per Winking World 1)
- 39 winks, by Larry Kahn, Jim Marlin, Dave Lockwood, and Rick Tucker, 10 May 1988; here’s a video made for the Australian television show, Just for the Record, planned to air in July 1988.
- 36 winks, by the Queensbury Casuals, as of October 1960 (per Winking World 0)
- 33 winks by Ferd Wulkan, Bob Henninge, Sunshine, and Severin Drix, performed four times. Source: Newswink 3, September 1970, page 8, as corrected to be four times in Newswink 4, April 1971, page 2
- 29 winks by Paul Light, Paul Hoffman, Andrew James, and Geoff Thorpe, on 6 December 1974 (published in the Guinness Book of Records, 26th edition (for British distribution), 1980, page 297)
Most World and National Titles
As of 13 September 2022.
- World Singles: Larry Kahn (USA) has won the title 24 times (1983–2016)
- World Pairs: Larry Kahn (USA) has won the title 20 times (1978–2022)
North American Championships
- NATwA Singles: Larry Kahn (USA) has won the title 31 times (1981–2019), including 18 times in a row (2002-2019)
- NATwA Pairs: Larry Kahn (USA) has won the title 26 times (1976–2019)
English National Championships
- ETwA Singles: Patrick Barrie (UK) has won the title 10 times (1993–2018)
- ETwA Pairs: Matthew Rose (UK) has won the title 11 times (1996–2017)
Tiddlywinks Marathons • Claimed Records
No, it’s not 26.2 miles; it’s measured in hours and minutes of continuous tiddlywinks play. While not an official record event, a variety of winks marathons have been played with a range of individuals involved (2, 4, 6, 8, or more), with or without breaks, and so on, as follows. Though Guinness doesn’t have separate categories for tiddlywinks marathons, NATwA at least would suggest that there should be separate records for 2 person tiddlywinks marathons during which both winkers play the entire time, versus marathons involving more than 2 winkers, versus marathons involving more than 2 winkers during which some winkers do not play and hence may be resting. In any case, here are some reports of tiddlywinks marathons. Yawn!
240 Hours • Tiddlywinks Marathon Record • 6 Winkers
Beating 168 Hours and 9 Minutes • Tiddlywinks Marathon Record • 6 Winkers
144 Hours and 2 Minutes • Tiddlywinks Marathon Record • 8 Winkers
120 Hours • Marathon Record • 8 Winkers
82 Hours • Tiddlywinks Marathon Record • 8 Winkers
67 Hours • Tiddlywinks Marathon Record • 4 Winkers
Four winkers from the University of Toronto winked for 67 hours from 19 to 21 January 1967, eclipsing the previous record of 56 hours held by a team from the University of Waterloo.
This marathon event by University of Toronto winkers took place at Towne & Countrye Square in North Toronto. The team sold honorary associate memberships, will proceeds donated to the Heart Fund charity.
The 67 hour tiddlywinks marathon was reported to be published as a new world record in the Guinness Book of Records’ 1967 edition.
- Toike Oike, 9 February 1967, page 2, published by the Engineering Society of the University of Toronto
- Toike Oike, 2 March 1967, page 7
56 Hours • Tiddlywinks Marathon Record • 4 Winkers
55 Hours • Tiddlywinks Marathon Record • 8 Winkers
50 Hours and 30 Minutes • Tiddlywinks Marathon Record • 4 Winkers
40 Hours • Tiddlywinks Marathon Records • 4 Winkers
32 Hours and 12 Minutes • Tiddlywinks Marathon Record • 2 Winkers
Josef Sachs and Rich Steidle of the MIT Tiddlywinks Association winked continuously for 32 hours and 12 minutes. This remains the longest marathon reported involving only two winkers.
This marathon was held in the lobby of MIT’s Building 10, starting at noon on 21 January 1975 and ending at 8:12 pm the next day.
55 games were played—41 won by Josef Sachs and 14 by Rich Steidle.
Rich Steidle won 30 of the squidge-offs, while Josef Sachs won 25.
22 of the games ended in putouts, with Josef Sachs winning 18 and Rich Steidle, 4.
The points-per-win was 5.512, and points-per-loss, 2. The overall points-per-game was 4.618.
6 of the games ended in a 7-0, all won by Josef Sachs.
30 Hours • Tiddlywinks Marathon Records • 2 Winkers
24¾ Hours • Earliest Known Tiddlywinks Marathon Record
Fastest Tiddlywinks Mile
Achieving the greatest horizontal distance from a wink’s original position on a mat after shooting it, to the position where the wink initially strikes a surface of nearly comparable height.
Achieving the highest vertical distance above a mat during a shot from a wink’s original position on the mat.
Shortest Time to Pot 10,000 Winks
10,000 winks to be potted from 18 inches in the shortest time possible, in as many shots as needed.
- 3 hours, 41 minutes, 45.5 seconds, by Allen Astles, 11 February 1967 (Winking World 11, page 7)—which equates to 1⅓ winks potted per second
- 3 hours, 51 minutes, 46 seconds, by Allen Astles, February 1966 (Winking World 9, page 7)
- 3 hours, 59 minutes, by Allen Astles, on 12 February 1965 (Winking World 7, page 12)
Shortest Time to Pot 1500 Winks
Shortest Time to Pot 50,000 Winks
Most Winks Potted in 3 Hours
Most Winks Potted in 1000 Attempts
Most Winks Potted from Various Distances For Various Numbers of Winks
Sunshine describes a range of additional potting records in his Alleghany Airlines Book Club Presents perversions catalog.
Longest Consecutive Potting Streak
The number of winks potted successively without missing, without a break.
Achieving the longest distance in potting a wink, from the original position of the wink on a mat to the position of the pot into which it was shot. The pot is placed beyond the borders of a regulation-sized mat, perhaps on another table. Any records for Long Pot should be conducted with both the wink and pot at roughly the same height.
No records have been identified for the Long Pot, other than 3 feet during a Carnovsky, since 3 feet is the distance between a corner baseline on a regulation mat and the pot at center. Many winkers have accomplished a Carnovsky.