Alphabet soup split image

Jacob Chandler (USA) has obviously never been told to not play with his food. 

The Oregon, USA resident has broken the record for the fastest time to find and alphabetize the letters in a can of alphabet soup, with a time of 2 mins 8.6 sec.

As you may have guessed, this record entails fishing out the letters A-Z from a can of alphabet soup and placing them in alphabetical order in the quickest time possible. The 26 letters were laid out on a piece of card on top of that same printed letter.

"I was intrigued by the idea of alphabetizing a can soup. I’ve eaten plenty of alphabet soup in my life but never stopped to think someone would make a challenge out of organizing the letters." - Jacob Chandler

"I’ve always had a knack for taking on new challenges. At a young age my father taught me to try new things just to see what I liked or disliked."

Jacob with bowl of alphabet soup

He decided to attempt a Guinness World Records title to prove that, with proper preparation and dedication, he could achieve any goal he set for myself.

Before his attempt, Jacob reviewed about a half dozen records before settling on this alphabet soup record.  

"This attempt is a spontaneous attempt so training is tough. By spontaneous I mean you open the can of soup and then right away your time starts. It’s almost a luck of the draw situation every time."

A few things Jacob did to ensure his success were;

  • Locate the proper bowl - not to deep and not to shallow, with a sloped side to aid the sorting process. 
  • Get the right spoon -  according to Jacob, the size and feel in his hands made the difference. 
  • Research the best soup to use – This included weighing up thick vs thin broth, big vs little letters and vegetable vs meat additives. 
  • Examine the letters in the soup – This was "extremely critical to know", according to Jacob, because he had to learn each letter’s characteristics. 

"I needed to know about that soups specifics like (M vs W) or (O vs Q) and what each individual letter looked like. Many of the letters had similar features and I needed to know that before the attempt."

Jacob also did multiple practice runs, varying his bowl, spoon and can of soup placement to find the optimal layout and ease of accessibility for his attempt.

bowl letters and spoon

"By conducting this mental and physical walkthrough of the attempt, it would give me the best possible chance so I was not losing any precious seconds on nonsense movements."

However, there were some things Jacob couldn’t prepare for, namely how many of each letter would appear. 

"The most difficult part was not being able to know what was going to be in the can at the time of the attempt. Due to the fact each can was sealed and completely random, this made it mentally exhausting to think about."

"I felt I could put all this effort and time into this record but if a letter was not in the can from the factory then my record attempt would have been a failure."

On the day of the attempt, Jacob was feeling quite anxious. 

"Things going through my head like, Will all the letters be there? Will I fumble opening the can? Are all of the stop watches starting & stopping on time? Is the video recording? A lot of the difficulty for me was mainly the mental aspect of it."

After his successful record attempt, Jacob experienced a "big high", but said it took him about a week to recover. 

can of soup with sheet

"The mental drain came from making sure all the evidence and paperwork were accurate and submitted correctly. I think overall there was just a lot of pre and post work that went into making this attempt successful."

Jacob was inspired to attempt this record to show his 11-year-old son, Brycen, that anything is possible if you work hard enough at it. 

"When he was born I learned to love unconditionally. I realized every word and action would influence his wellbeing and future self. He has helped me to grow as a person, and as a father."

He also dedicated the record to his parents, who consistently uplift and encourage him.

Jacob's son, Brycen, with the record-breaking time

"They have never given up on me and have always motivated me to work hard and achieve my goals."

"Success is something that you have to achieve for yourself, and nobody can just hand it to you. Being a Guinness World Record holder now means I feel proud of myself for accomplishing a goal that I never thought was achievable."

However, Jacob doesn’t intend to stop at just the one record. He has his sights set on a few more, including the most tea bags thrown into mugs in 30 seconds and the distance-based record using a Mentos and soda bottle vehicle.