Over the past few years Auldin Maxwell has accumulated a stack of world records.
Two of the Salmon Arm teen’s latest record-breaking achievements earned him prestigious placement near the front of the just released 2024 Guinness World Records. One was for the most Jenga blocks (1,840) stacked on one vertical block. The other was for the most Jenga Giant blocks (900) stacked on one vertical Jenga Giant block.
The records broken by the 15-year-old Auldin were his own.
“It’s such an honour, especially because he’s basically the first record of the book right in the editor’s letter,” said Kelly Murray, Auldin’s mother. “They put him right in the beginning of the book. It is really cool.”
Auldin was given similar placement in the 2022 edition of Guinness World Records, said Murray. At that point he’d achieved three world records for stacking Jenga blocks, his first achieved in November 2020 with 693 blocks stacked on one.
His knack for stacking and the attention received from Guinness made Auldin something of a viral sensation, with his success being shared world over, including a nod by Jimmy Fallon on The Tonight Show, a story in the New York Times and, more recently, a December 2022 piece on young “master gamers and puzzlers” in U.K. publication The Guardian.
“We did an online interview with a lady from London and they sent a Vancouver photographer to our house in Salmon Arm to do a photo shoot in our living room,” said Murray of the Guardian story.
Murray said the “media storm” experience was very exciting but also very stressful, and after it subsided, “we kind of took a bit of a break.” But she said Guinness has been consistently supportive of Auldin.
“Whenever he does something or wants to plan something, they always say you know we’re here for you and talk to us, we’ll help you out however we can,” said Murray. “They want to have knowledge about what he’s doing and then they make him a priority when we attempt something.”
Auldin’s towering accomplishment also caught the attention of Jenga’s owner, who gifted him 24 packs of Jenga Giant blocks.
Despite what his world records might suggest, Jenga isn’t the only thing Auldin does for fun and/or to challenge himself. The Grade 10 student loves playing basketball, is an avid Rubik’s “Cuber” (Murray said he has more than 100, all different), and has also proven to be proficient at bowling.
“That’s something he just picked up a year and a half ago,” said Murray. “Last year was his first year of bowling in a league and he got bowler of the year for youth league and got third amongst all the adults.”
When Auldin does get the urge to begin stacking, Murray prepares for another potential record-breaking moment.
“If he just all of a sudden says, ‘OK, I’m going to stack’… and it’s usually just a few times a year, I’ll just stop what I’m doing and I’ll stay up with him until late at night,” said Murray. “I’ll just get my camera out and film him just for fun.
“He tries to break his own goals unofficially whenever he feels like it. It’s kind of once in a blue moon, but this is a skill that he has that he can just do anytime. He doesn’t practice; he just does it. It’s like a gift. He just has this amazing stacking ability.”
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