World record attempt raises funds to donate pinball machine to Joe Nuxhall Hope Center

One local man recently attempted his second Guinness World Record while successfully raising funds for a new Avengers: Infinity Quest Pinball Machine for The Joe Nuxhall Miracle League Fields’ planned year-round, indoor facility called The Hope Center.

“The event was a smashing success. It was a big win,” said Jim Foliano, executive director at Ticket to Hope.

The effort raised more than $8,000 toward the purchase of the pinball machine, he said.

“Overall, it was a huge win,” Foliano said.

The attempt for ‘Longest Marathon Playing Pinball’ record, however, fell short because he starting feeling ill about 1 a.m. Saturday.

“From top to bottom. I started getting cold sweats, my throat started getting dry, so I had to step away,” Foliano said.

After that, when he looked at the pinball machine with the lights and sounds, it was too much to handle, he said.

“So, I fought through it until about 11 a.m. on Saturday morning. So, I had to tap out at 37 hours,” Foliano said.

When he planned the attempt, the pinball playing record was 48 hours. Since then, the figure has risen to 62-plus hours.

“I’ve had multiple people reach out to me, and say they are going to go for the record, so I think that number is just going to continue to rise,” he said.

Foliano has looked at record challenges with boxing, motorcycles and swimming.

“Usually, every year, I try to pick something different just to challenge and educate myself and involve other communities,” he said. “I just love people and it’s a great way to not only get out and meet new people, and help make a difference, but you learn these new worlds.”

Foliano attempted to break his second World Record at the Pinball Garage in Hamilton, where his goal was to play pinball on Avengers: Infinity Quest pinball machine for more than 63 hours. He started playing pinball at 9 p.m. on Thursday.

The effort was shown on livestream through What-the Flip Pinball, and Foliano called the staff at Pinball Garage phenomenal.

He and his team sold T-shirts and 100 percent of the proceeds went toward the pinball machine. Some T-shirts remain at Pinball Garage, and any purchase will going toward Ticket to Hope, Foliano said.

The $8,000 Foliano raised will go toward the purchase of a new Avengers: Infinity Quest Pinball Machine. The Joe Nuxhall Miracle League Fields are in the process of building The Hope Center, and inside, there will be a game room, and this will be the inaugural piece in the game room.

Foliano said about a week after the event, he received a call from a guy in West Virginia named Jordan Nash.

“Jordan called, and he said, ‘I saw your Journal-News article,’ somehow in West Virginia,” Foliano said. Nash contacted a company in Colorado called Inclusive Gamewerks, and they sent the device. “And if a person is not able to play for any reason, it allows accessibility,” he said.

This machine is handheld, connects directly to the pinball machine and has three buttons on it. It’s a controller with a harness, Foliano said.

“It’s a phenomenal device, and it’s going to allow everyone to be included, and the team at Joe Nuxhall Miracle League were beyond gracious from start to finish. I told that story more than 100 times throughout the weekend. It was such a cool thing. It just shows how far good news can spread,” said Foliano. “We were able to get the device in-hand prior the event, and it was amazing that we could showcase it all weekend long.”

After setting his first Guinness World Record for “The Most High-Fives in 24 Hours,” achieving 15,338 high-fives in a day during last year’s Flying Pig Marathon weekend, Foliano was hoping to set a second world record.

The previous record was 14,607 high-fives, set by Pete Timbs of Australia during the Bridge to Brisbane fun run in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia, on September 2, 2012.

Foliano’s achievement also helped Ticket to Hope send 1,000 community members to the Cincinnati Reds game on Aug. 7.

Based in Hamilton, Ticket to Hope is a nonprofit whose mission is to bring hope to individuals needing it the most by creating unforgettable experiences.

Andrew Robishaw of Lakeland, Fla., currently holds the Guinness World Record for the “Longest Marathon Playing Pinball,” at 62 hours and 21 minutes. He achieved the record from Sept. 1-3, 2023.

Foliano said he “never really played pinball before” prior to practicing for the past four to six months.

“I’ve really just been diving into this game, and it’s a lot of fun. You can learn a lot from it, and it’s exciting for kids. It’s just a phenomenal game. It’s really cool,” he said.

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