Organizers say Westland attempt topples domino record
The eastern court at Westland Shopping Center erupted in raucous cheers and joyous applause recently as 76,017 black-and-white dominoes swiftly toppled in a perfectly coordinated loop.
The 18 builders who labored on the “Zeal Credit Union Incredible Science Machine: World Edition” had plenty of reason to rejoice. After the team spent 10 days assembling an elaborate, eye-popping structure across an estimated 5,100 square feet, the finale Saturday was their showcase en route to breaking a Guinness World Record.
More than two hours and lengthy hand-counting later, the project leaders learned the final tally of fallen multicolored pieces had seized the title for “most dominoes toppled in a circle bomb/circle field.” They also believe the team tumbled the most ever in the United States: 242,518.
“I was excited because it’s a huge feat,” said Steve Price of Canton Township, the lead chain-reaction builder and event coordinator.
Save the confetti and balloons, though. Guinness World Records officials still need an application from the team, spokeswoman Elizabeth Montoya said.
“Typically, when we receive a record application, the review process could take up to 12 weeks,” she said. “After reviewing the application and evidence submitted, our Records Management team will then be able to determine whether or not they were successful in their attempt.”
The existing record for “most dominoes toppled in a circle bomb” was 54,321, which Sinners Domino Entertainment set Aug. 16, 2014, in Germany, Guinness World Records officials said. The group also snagged “most dominoes toppled in a spiral,” with 55,555 on July 12, 2013, according to the website.
Price says his team is prepping “a lot of paperwork” and materials documenting their achievement. “We’ll be doing that in the coming days,” he said.
Meanwhile, they’re reveling in an act few others can conceive, let alone claim.
“I honestly think it is incredible,” said Brady Dolan, a 12-year-old domino pro from Ann Arbor and the youngest teammate. “It’s like the highlight of my year.”
The foundation was laid when the team — tinkerers from across the country and overseas linked by a sturdy love for specialized contraptions and online fame — attempted another eyebrow-raising stunt last year. They worked to fashion the world’s largest chain reaction machine at the Michigan Science Center in Detroit, mixing numerous objects.
Despite falling short, the feat garnered more than 7 million views on YouTube, team members said.
This time, the builders set their sights on another goal. But they still logged more than 1,800 combined hours erecting the complex “machine,” which was divided into different chain reaction and domino sections representing each continent on the planet.
Members divvied up the components and appointed individual leaders to oversee the efforts at the mall.
Lily Hevesh, a 17-year-old recent high school graduate from New Hampshire who long has earned renown for her creations, headed the Antarctica portion — down to the three-dimensional depictions of glaciers. “For me it wasn’t too difficult because I’ve been doing dominoes for seven years,” she said confidently. “The most difficult part is trying to make a structure look like something in real life based on a photo. But building it is pretty easy for me.”
Still, even more complicated than positioning pendulums to right stalled pieces or weaving chopsticks and fortune cookies into the layout was protecting the project. When curious passersby with roving hands reached in to inquire about their toiling, they risking downing the entire effort, Price said.
“Not everyone understands what’s going on,” said the 22-year-old, who studied mechanical engineering at Michigan State University and has appeared on NBC’s “America’s Got Talent.”
For him and the fellow enthusiasts, their extraordinary exploit highlights not only technical skill but persistence unshaken by a few tumbles or breaks.
“You just have to have the motivation and determination to keep going and make an awesome project,” Hevesh said.