This weekend, Ryan Clancy set a new world record for continuously playing pinball as a fundraiser for Children's Hospital of Wisconsin. He played the same machine for 32 hours and 2 minutes, breaking the former record of 30 hours and 10 minutes.
Yes, Guinness rules permitted him to take bathroom and food or drink breaks for five minutes of every hour. He started playing on Friday and finished late Saturday afternoon.
Clancy, who co-owns Bounce and Fling with his wife, Becky, has access to 14 pinball machines. To break the record, he was required to use the same machine, so he chose "Black Knight: Sword of Rage" featuring the voice of Barenaked Ladies frontman and pinball fanatic, Ed Robertson.
Robertson was aware of Clancy's attempt and stayed connected with him via social media. Prior to the 32-hour pinball marathon Clancy was also in contact with the then-current record holder, Wayne Johns.
"He was full of encouragement and gave me some good advice," says Clancy, who is also running for county supervisor. "We also traded barbs and at one point he said it would be fine if I decided to quit at 30 hours and 9 minutes."
Clancy says he hopes Johns will someday beat his record and raise money for charity while doing so.
Clancy played 32 hours of pinball as a fundraising effort for Children's Hospital of Wisconsin where his son received treatment last year. His son is fully recovered, but Clancy wanted to do something to give back. Especially since during the recovery process, Clancy and his son focused on rebuilding a pinball machine as a way to spend time together while focusing on something other than illness.
Unfortunately, a hacker intentionally brought down the servers during the event and consequently people were unable to donate money for a portion of the fundraising effort. Thus, donations are being accepted for another week.
"Anyone who tried to donate and couldn't at the time can now donate online if they would like to," says Clancy.
Clancy says he was floored by the number of volunteers who supported his effort. For proper Guinness documentation, the endeavor required multiple, around-the-clock volunteers to witness and record the event. Friends and family also gathered to help make the process as smooth as possible for Clancy.
"It was fun. It’s really everybody’s record. I was floored by the number of volunteers who came out; people really wanted to be a part of it and really stepped up and engaged with the mission for Children’s," says Clancy.
Over the course of the 32 hours, the game only underwent one glitch which was quickly fixed by Bounce's pinball machine technician, who stayed for the majority of the 32-hour event.
Although sponsored by Anodoyne Coffee, Clancy did not ingest stimulants of any kind to stay awake during the long venture. For him, it was easier to complete the long haul without them. "But I certainly appreciated Anodyne's participation," says Clancy.
Clancy says he could have kept playing, but his 5-year-old daughter was anxious for him to finish the game and read her a book – and so he did. He then went to bed at 7 p.m. and slept soundly until the next day.
"And somehow I didn't have a single dream about pinball," says Clancy.
To donate to Clancy's cause, go here.
Molly Snyder grew up on Milwaukee's East Side and today, she lives in the Walker's Point neighborhood with her partner and two sons.
As a full time senior writer, editorial manager and self-described experience junkie, Molly has written thousands of articles about Milwaukee (and a few about New Orleans, Detroit, Indianapolis, Boston and various vacation spots in Wisconsin) that range in subject from where to get the best cup of coffee to an in-depth profile on the survivors of the iconic Norman apartment building that burned down in the '90s.
She also once got a colonic just to report on it, but that's enough on that.
Always told she had a "radio voice," Molly found herself as a regular contributor on FM102, 97WMYX and 1130WISN with her childhood radio favorite, Gene Mueller.
Molly's poetry, essays and articles appeared in many publications including USA Today, The Writer, The Sun Magazine and more. She has a collection of poetry, "Topless," and is slowly writing a memoir.
In 2009, Molly won a Milwaukee Press Club Award. She served as the Narrator / writer-in-residence at the Pfister Hotel from 2013-2014. She is also a story slam-winning storyteller who has performed with The Moth, Ex Fabula and Risk!
When she's not writing, interviewing or mom-ing, Molly teaches tarot card classes, gardens, sits in bars drinking Miller products and dreams of being in a punk band again.