2010 Record Breakers

From the hottest day and the youngest Grammy winner to the most expensive car and the biggest meatball, The Daily Beast chronicles a year for the record books.

Kevork Djansezian / Getty Images

Hottest day

Date: September 27
Record: 113 degrees
Where: Los Angeles, California
How hot was it? So hot the official thermometer broke. “It just kind of quit functioning, but the temperature had already peaked,” said Stuart Seto, forecaster for the National Weather Service. “We doubt that it went over 113.” That’s the way it goes in Los Angeles during the summer, but this year was extreme and hot weather records were broken across the country. Californians soaked up 45,000 megawatts of energy on this stifling day, and brush fires broke out in the LA area. On the other end of the spectrum, the summer also brought one 67-degree day to the City of Angels.

Leon Halip / Getty Images

Biggest hockey crowd

Date: December 11
Record: 113,411 people
Where: Ann Arbor, Michigan
Dubbed the Big Chill at the Big House, enough people to fill a medium-sized city showed up at Michigan Stadium to watch Michigan State take on the University of Michigan in the biggest hockey game ever. “Playing hockey outdoors is the way it is meant to be,” said fan Alex Laursen. He apparently wasn’t alone in that sentiment. The size of the crowd outshined the game itself, which Michigan won handily. The rink was opened to the public the weekend after the game.

World Dodgeball Society / PR Newswire

Biggest Dodgeball Game

Date: September 23
Record: 1,745 people
Where: Los Angeles
Talk about balls of fury. More than 1,700 crazy college kids from the University of California-Irvine got together to hurl dodgeballs at each other during the school’s Spirit Rally. The match pitted blue against yellow, with players scrambling for balls lined up in the middle of a gymnasium when the first whistle was blown. "We're always looking for new ways to raise awareness and spread our love of dodgeball," said Michael "Handsome" Costanza, World Dodgeball Society founder. "Breaking the world record is a cause after our own hearts, and we applaud UCI for undertaking such a massive task and becoming successful."

Denis Balibouse / Reuters

Fastest proton collision

Date: March 30
Record: Seven Teraelectronvolts
Where: Geneva, Switzerland
The Large Hadron Collider at the European Center for Nuclear Research slammed a fistful of protons against each other at speeds approaching the speed of light. It’s “the beginning of a new era,” scientist Paola Catapano said. Why’d they do it? For science! Specifically, to find evidence of the Higgs boson, also knowns as the Champagne Bottle Boson, which would explain how particles have mass, and to recreate conditions similar to those believed to have existed during Big Bang. A 14 teraelectronvolt collision is slated for 2011, so this is a record that was made to be broken.

Ho New / Reuters

Biggest Initial Public Offering

Date: November 17
Record: $23.1 billion
Where: Wall Street, USA
The second biggest automaker in the world came back in a big way this year, officially notching the biggest IPO ever by $1 billion, after filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy and accepting a $50 billion bailout from the American government in 2009. "You're into GM because a critical element, a critical building block of the U.S. economy, has significantly repositioned itself to be competitive,” Tim Leuliette of parts maker Visteon said. To be exact, General Motors repositioned itself in a record-breaking way.

Bahama Buck's

World’s Biggest Sno Cone

Date: December 10
Record: 25,095 pounds
Where: Lubbock, Texas
Shiver me timbers! This Sno Cone built at a Bahama Buck’s franchise, outweighed the previous record by 20,000 pounds and had enough shaved ice to feed 60,000 people. “We have Buddy Holly and prairie dogs, and now we have the world’s largest Sno Cone,” said owner Blake Buchanan. The yellow cake flavored cone took three days to build and raised $12,000 for charity.


Most Expensive Car

Date: Late April
Record: $30 million to $40 million
Where: Oxnard, California
In keeping with the “most expensive” theme, we present the (at most) $40 million Bugatti 57SC Atlantic, purchased by the Mullin Automotive Museum. “This car has everything going for it,” said Leslie Kendall of the Petersen Automotive Museum. “In addition to technical sophistication, it was most avant-garde and futuristic car built up to that time.” Sure, but can this Bugatti actually time travel, Marty McFly style? Probably not, but it’s still pretty.

Pablo Martinez Monsivais / AP Photo

Food Bank Giveaways

Dates: All of 2010
Record: 30 million pounds
Where: Washington, D.C.
In a sure sign of the times, food banks in the Washington D.C.-area distributed 30 million pounds of food this year, up 3 million pounds from last year. “You have people driving up in brand-new luxury cars,” said Gwen Pope, who runs a charity center, “and they are sleeping in those cars. They are looking for foods that have pop tops to them because they are homeless.”

Sean Gallup / Getty Images

PC Game Sales

Date: December 13
Record: 3.3 million
Where: Worldwide
The World of Warcraft: Cataclysm expansion pack was highly anticipated and made this a very profitable year for Blizzard Entertainment, which made $650 million over a five-day period with its Call of Duty: Black Ops. “Whether it's the hard-core user who is looking for a more traditional game experience or a casual mobile user, games are going to be very popular and we are going to see some impressive numbers this holiday shopping season.” said analyst Michael Gartenberg. None more impressive than Cataclysm, so far, though of course there’s plenty of holiday shopping left.

Matt Sayles / AP Photo

Youngest Album of the Year Winner

Date: January 31
Record: 20 years old
Where: Los Angeles
‘Twas a big year for Wyomissing, Pennsylvania native Taylor Swift. She won four Grammy Awards, not to mention the biggest one of them all. “I just keep thinking back to like when you’re in second grade and you sing at your talent show for the first time,” Swift said. “People joke around and they say, ‘Oh maybe we’ll see you at the Grammys someday.’ But that seems like an impossible dream.” Ah, to dream the impossible dream. And still so young! Swift’s next target: Alison Kraus, who holds the record for most lifetime Grammys by a single artist with 26.

Kevin Winter / Getty Images

Most Grammys Won by One Woman in One Year

Date: January 31
Record: Six Grammys
Where: Los Angeles
Taylor Swift wasn’t the only record-breaker during this year’s Grammy Awards. Beyonce added six golden gramophones to her trophy case, breaking her previous record of five in one night, which she’d shared with five other artists. She was nominated for 10 of the awards.


Biggest Buck

Date: January 30
Record: 250 ⅛ inches gross
Where: Xenia, Ohio
Talk about big game. A buck wandering through Highland County, Ohio was shot down by hunter Brian Stephens. Turns out to be the biggest buck killed on record. Since then Stephens has been feted by the governor and at numerous trade shows. “With the whirlwind of activity, everything’s been incredible. I decided it wouldn’t matter if the final measurement wound up at 200. I’ve just enjoyed it all,” Stephens said.

Most Detailed Videogame Character

Date: January 21
Record: 32,816 polygons
Where: Computers worldwide
Score another one for the gamers. Lara Croft’s assets were rendered using 32,816 polygons in Tomb Raider: Underworld, with the record officially announced in the 2010 edition of the Guinness Book of World Records Gamers Edition. Not something we necessarily thought Guinness would track but there’s one truth about Guinness: if there’s a record to be set or broken, they’ll record it. Congrats to you and your rendering Lara Croft, tomb raider.

America’s Biggest Meatball

Date: October 10
Record: 655.5 pounds
Where: Columbus, Ohio Mama Mia! The Guinness Book of World Records says the biggest meatball in America belongs to Fenicci’s of Hershey, which created a 319.25 pound meatball on May 22. But members of the Columbus Italian Club in Columbus, Ohio probably beg to differ, because they cooked up a ball of meat weighing in at 655.5 pounds, raising $5,000 for the group’s college scholarship fund. Unfortunately, the American meat masters are still short of the world record 749 pounds, but like all good Americans, they remain eternally confident. “Absolutely I'll break this record, I will beat it,” said Chris Beardman, who spearheaded the Columbus effort.

Ramin Talaie, Bloomberg / Getty Images

Most Expensive Painting

Date: May 5
Record: $106.5 million
Where: New York, New York
The bidding was expected to peak at a mere $90 million. Instead, Picasso’s Nude, Green Leaves, and Bust easily broke the $100 million barrier. The winner was an anonymous phone bidder, proving that in death even moreso than in life, Picasso’s work remains relevant and highly sought. "Tonight's spectacular results showed the great confidence in the marketplace and the enthusiasm with which it welcomes top quality works," said Connor Jordan of Christie’s.

Paul Sakuma / AP Photo

Biggest Cyber Monday

Date: November 29
Record: 107 million people
Where: The Internet
For those into creative marketing and fake holidays, Cyber Monday marks the Monday after Black Friday when online stores typically slash prices. An estimated nine out of 10 online retailers had one-day only sales, and more than 106 million shoppers spent their money digitally, up 11 percent from last year. Seven million people went even more totally digital by shopping from their phones.

Suzanne Plunkett / AP Photo

Longest Tennis Match

Dates: June 22-June 24
Record: 11 hours, 5 minutes
Where: London, England
This is one record that we’ll venture will never come close to being broken. For three days American John Isner and Frenchman Nicolas Mahut had a truly epic battle in the first round of this year’s Wimbledon, with the final set lasting more than eight hours. The line was an astounding 6-4, 3-6, 6-7 (7), 7-6 (3), 70-68. "It's great, something Nic and I will share forever, really," Isner said. "I never said five words to the guy prior to the match. When I see him in the locker room at tournaments, we can share this.” The winner, Isner, went down in just over an hour in his next match.