Adjudicator Louise Toms reports on a festive record attempt success in Lapland.
Earlier this week, I had the pleasure of travelling to a magical place that I had never been to before-the official hometown of Santa Claus-Rovaniemi in Lapland, Finland. I was here to verify the record for the longest wish list to Santa.
The record attempt was organised by MINI and involved 8 new MINI Paceman cars departing from Milan, Italy, collecting wishes for Santa along the way.
They passed through 8 cities along the route, such as Munich, Copenhagen and Stockholm, before finally arriving at Rovaniemi in Finland 3,500 km later. The MINI team were to personally deliver these wishes to Santa's office, in the hopes that everyone that had been good this year would receive their gifts as requested….
Upon arriving in Lapland, I was struck at first by the temperature…I knew it would be cold, but at -22°C I knew I would those thermals would be more than needed!
I was taken to Nivavaara Primary School to see the scroll and to verify that the wishes were in accordance with the guidelines.
The MINI team had constructed the scroll on two giant wheels, which enabled me to check the spreadsheet data against the numbered wishes. I was amazed to see a whopping 25, 318 people had each written 3 wishes to Santa, which were assembled on one by one on one long scroll, using environmentally friendly paper. Furthermore, even more special to me was the fact that these wishes had come from 30 different countries around the world, as far as Ecuador, Cape Verde and Ghana!
It took one hour and 40 mins for the scroll to be unrolled, counted and rolled back up again, a valiant effort for 160kgs worth of paper! Included in the wishes were some interesting notions, such as world peace, free food for monkeys and some requests for a personal, 365 day a year exclusive Santa service!
In total, the wish list measured 3, 978.5 metres, and made every other wish list I had seen look like a sticky note.
In order to achieve the record and for MINI to keep their promise to the thousands of people who had sent their Christmas wishes to Santa, the list had to be physically delivered to Santa. So off it went, driven in a MINI naturally, to Santa's office, in Santa Claus' village. He was presented with the scroll outside with his helper elves and a white reindeer present-Rudolph was not there, as he was resting for the big night to come, but his place was taken by Prancer, as he is second in command of Santa's elite reindeer team.
This was a new Guinness World Records title and in order to set this, MINI needed to collect a minimum of 71,500 wishes. So I was more than happy to announce on behalf of Guinness World Records that MINI had successfully achieved this wonderful feat with a grand total of 75, 954 wishes!
Congratulations to MINI and to everyone that participated in this incredible festive event. One thing is for sure - Santa promised he will be reading each and every one of these wishes so may your wishes come true!