When people play the Jewish game of dreidel during Hanukkah, they sometimes win chocolate coins called gelt.
But when people play dreidel at jamboree, they sometimes win new world records.
That was the case Sunday afternoon at Jambopalooza, the 2017 National Jamboree’s carnival in the AT&T Summit Stadium. Organizers passed out 965 dreidels, or spinning tops, in an attempt to break the Guinness World Record for most dreidels spun at the same time.
The current simultaneous dreidel spin record was set in Tel Aviv in 2014 with 754 tops.
Jambopalooza staff members worked hard Sunday to enlist as many Scouts as they could to try to break the record. They even disassembled their 300-foot slip ‘n’ slide to push participants playing there to grab a dreidel and join in.
At multiple stations throughout the stadium, staffers passed out dreidels, spin tablets and special patches unique to the event. If Scouts who participated register at the link listed on the back of their patches, they’ll be eligible to win one of four Kindle Fire tablets.
It’s not official yet whether the world record was broken, says Mark Fobare, lead organizer for Jambopalooza. Guinness officials must now carefully analyze video from the event to check how many Scouts were actually spinning their dreidels at the same time. It’s expected to take 60 to 90 days to get the certified result.
Still, Fobare says, “it sure looks like we had it.”
While Scouts were setting up to attempt the spin, they were also receiving a history lesson about dreidels. It’s legendary that during King Antiochus’ reign of Israel, it was illegal to study the Torah, so Jewish children played with dreidels to hide the fact that they were reading it.
Previous Jambopalooza record-breaking attempts included “most people trained in CPR and AED within 24 hours” at the 2010 National Jamboree and “most people keeping beach balls in the air” in 2013.