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2013 in World Records – January: Jamie Oliver cooks up chilli record while Seattle stages largest ever snowball fight


We kick off our look back on an incredible year of record-breaking with the month that saw the inauguration of Barack Obama for his second term in office as US President.

In the world of entertainment, teen lovebirds Justin Bieber and Selena Gomez sadly split up, while political thriller Argo won awards for best drama and best director at the 70th Golden Globe Awards.

Also in the news was disgraced U.S. cyclist Lance Armstrong, who admitted to doping during a TV interview with Oprah Winfrey, while Argentina soccer star Lionel Messi hit the sporting headlines in more honourable style by winning FIFA’s Ballon d'Or as the world’s best player for a third consecutive time.

The start of the year saw the worldwide release of the Guinness World Records Gamers Edition 2013 book, which featured among others 31-year-old Brett Martin from Colorado, who was recognised for having the world's Largest Collection of Videogame Memorabilia, with 8,030 items of merchandise.

Brett, a web designer, was given his first item (a Mario figurine) by his parents when he was just 8 years-old, however he only started collecting 12 years ago when he "discovered eBay". 

In that period he has amassed a collection worth in excess of $100k. 

The start of the year also saw Dubai, already home to the world’s tallest building, (the Burj Khalifa, 2,717 feet), claim the world’s tallest hotel title after the JW Marriott Marquis was confirmed as the new record holder.

Tallest hotel

Standing an impressive 355 meters (1,165 feet) tall from mast top to ground level, the hotel is just 26 meters (85 feet) shorter than the Empire State Building of New York City.

A crowd of 5,834 turned Seattle into a blizzard of snow balls as the US city's downtown area played host to area a record-breaking icy battle.

In the shadow of the iconic Space Needle landmark, the huge crowd helped set a new world record for the largest snowball fight, with more than 30 truckloads of snow brought in from the nearby neighbourhood of Cascades for the event.

Famed for his super-fast 15-minute meals, TV chef Jamie Oliver, (pictured at the top of the page), showed just how quick he can be in the kitchen by setting a new world record for most chillies chopped in thirty seconds.

In a showdown with his mentor, Italian chef Gennaro Contaldo, Jamie managed to slice and dice 10 chillies in the allotted time, beating his one-time tutor's display by four.

U.S. dating reality show The Bachelor made TV history in January, when contestants Sean Lowe and Lesley Murphy broke the record for the longest on-screen kiss.

The couple managed to pucker up for three minutes and 22 seconds, breaking the previous record by a hot seven seconds.

Petrolheads in Australia were treated to a tyre-frying spectacular earlier, with a successful attempt at the world record for the largest simultaneous car tyre burn-out.

Drivers from all corners of Australia descended on Canberra's Exhibition Park for the attempt, with some traveling thousands of kilometres from Western Australia and Northern Queensland to take part.

A total of 68 cars set the new title, which clocked up a total output of 35,000 horsepower - (26,000kW), and saw 138 tyres front of an enthusiastic crowd of 10,000 spectators.

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