British Columbia

B.C. boy sets world record for balancing Jenga blocks

The seventh-grader from Salmon Arm, B.C., broke the record set by an Arizona man who stacked 485 Jenga blocks over a single vertical wood block.

Auldin Maxwell, 12, built a tower with 693 toy bricks on top of a single vertical Jenga block

Auldin Maxwell, 12, from Salmon Arm, B.C., made history in November by putting 693 Jenga blocks on top of one single vertical wooden brick from the popular game set. (Submitted by Kelly Murray)

A Salmon Arm, B.C., boy has made himself famous by breaking the Guinness world record of balancing the most Jenga blocks on one single vertical block.

Last Friday, Auldin Maxwell, 12, received an email recognition from the reference book publisher for his achievement two months ago, building a tower of 693 tiny bricks — equalling 13 Jenga sets of 54 bricks each— on top of a narrow piece of wood.

"My heart was pounding," Maxwell told Sarah Penton, host of CBC's Radio West, about his feeling of putting the last chip on the stack at home the evening of Nov. 29.

"I was just really happy because my dream probably came true," he said.

It was indeed a fantasy turning real after hours of practice and three failed attempts to smash the record set by Arizona's Tai Star Valianti, who placed 485 Jenga blocks on an upright brick in July 2020.

WATCH | Auldin Maxwell building his Jenga tower to break Guinness world record

"I created different types of patterns on the ground I could make, and then I tested it out and I will see which ones work and which ones can hold the most on stuff," Maxwell said.

The Grade 7 student at Shuswap Middle School says he was nervous while it was being filmed so that he could provide Guiness world records with proof of his feat. After taking a 30-minute break, he was finally able to pile all the 600-plus blocks in one go.

He celebrated his victory by toppling the pillar.

According to Guinness World Records, Maxwell has kept the final Jenga block he laid at the tower's top in his room to commemorate his feat.

Kelly Murray, Maxwell's mother, says she's excited but not at all surprised by her son's accomplishment.

"He's very special and very talented," she said. "He can just do [different activities] on his own with his own natural raw abilities."

Auldin Maxwell failed three times before he succeeded breaking the Guinness world record set in July 2020 by an Arizona man for placing the most Jenga blocks on an upright piece of wood. (Submitted by Kelly Murray)

Murray says Maxwell may have issues with social interactions due to his autism spectrum disorder, but his knack for repetitive behaviour turned out to be the blessing that led to his success.

"All of the restrictive behaviours … paid off for him," she said.

Maxwell says he's been wanting to become a Guinness world record holder since the age of six. 

Tap the link below to hear Auldin Maxwell and Kelly Murray on Radio West:

Auldin Maxwell, 12, and his mother Kelly Murray speak to Sarah Penton about his incredible achievement. 10:01

With files from Radio West

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