Many people are fond of collecting sentimental items, but few have taken it to the extent of Jackie Miley, who has a house stuffed with thousands of plush bears. 

The 8,026 teddy bears she’s accumulated in her hometown of Rapid City, South Dakota, USA is so extensive, it's earned the 68-year-old a spot in the new Guinness World Records 2018 book for the world's Largest collection of teddy bears

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"I never had a teddy bear as a child - didn’t even know what one was until I was eight years old and saw one at the Minnesota State Fair." said Jackie.

Jackie’s collection first began with a bear dubbed “Grandma Jackie”, which she won while on vacation in 2000. 

In order to nurture her growing collection, Jackie started visiting stores and thrift shops around her home state. Take a tour in our Meet The Record Breakers profile video.

She felt that the teddy bear characters were so interesting, that she continued buying them wherever she traveled. 

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Once she had accumulated nearly 3,000 teddy bears, friends started asking her if she had submitted her collection to Guinness World Records for review.

After the eighth person asked her if she had contacted Guinness World Records, she was finally persuaded.

"I checked into it… The rest is history,” said Jackie

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Within her assortment the smallest teddy bear is just 3/4 inches tall, with the largest at nearly 8 ft.

“Grandma Jackie” is now joined by thousands of teddy bears from all U.S. states - including Alaska and Hawaii - as well as 29 other countries.

The collection is displayed in a tourist attraction named Teddy Bear Town, located in Hill City, South Dakota. 

Of all 8,026 bears, Jackie explains that though she doesn’t have a favourite, there is one in particular that holds a lot of sentimental value as someone bought it for her from her school.

"They took the time to find my school picture (age 7) and pinned it to the bear. I was raised in foster homes and when I moved from one place to another, all my photos got lost so that picture is the only school picture I have."

One of the reasons Jackie is passionate to keep her collection growing is because she finds teddy bears comforting, but she also enjoys sharing her collection with the public. 

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The avid teddy fan is featured alongside many more of the world’s most inspiring collectors in the Guinness World Records 2018 book. 

Don’t wait! Guinness World Records 2018, Guinness World Records 2018 Gamer’s Edition, and Guinness World Records: Amazing Animals are in stores now. 

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