Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Acquires World’s Largest Rubber Band Ball

ORLANDO, Fla. – (Oct. 19, 2009) – Having a ball at Ripley’s Believe It or Not! has taken on a whole new meaning – the company has acquired the world’s largest rubber band ball.  Standing more than 6 feet tall it weighs close to 10,000 pounds!

Record-breaking ball is more than 6 feet tall, weighs nearly five tons!

In order to move the ball from Lauderhill, Florida where it was created to the company headquarters in Orlando, Ripley’s has had to hire a crane (one at each end of the journey), a flatbed truck and a transportation team. The move is scheduled for Thursday, October 29.

The orb was created by Joel Waul, a 28-year-old clothing store worker who lives in Lauderhill, near Ft. Lauderdale.

It all started for Waul’s ball on April 10, 2004, as he watched an episode of the Ripley’s Believe It or Not! TV show on which a rubber band ball was dropped out of an airplane. He decided on the spot that he wanted to create the world’s largest rubber band ball. He began creating the ball that day with rubber bands he found around the house.

Eventually, Waul used more than 720,000 rubber bands to create the ball, which he named “Megaton.” He scoured discount stores and e-bay for rubber bands to add to his creation during the early years. As it grew, he turned to sponsors for the giant industrial rubber bands needed to stretch around the bulging ball.

 

As it grew, the ball was moved from inside Waul’s house to the garage and eventually to the driveway where it soon became a neighborhood landmark. In 2008 Waul shattered the world record for the biggest rubber band ball.

Ripley’s Believe It or Not! officials have had their eye on the ball for more than a year and a photo of  it is currently being featured in Ripley’s newest book, Seeing is Believing. It will eventually go on display in one of the company’s worldwide museums.

The ball by the numbers:

Number of rubber bands: 720,000+

Weight: 9,032 pounds when last weighed. About 400 pounds of bands have been added since then.

Circumference: 25 feet, 4 inches

Height: 6 feet, 7 inches

**Edward Meyer, VP of Exhibits and Archives for Ripley’s Believe It or Not! and Joel Waul will be on hand in Lauderhill when the ball is moved on Thursday, October 29. Later that afternoon, Meyer will be available in Orlando as the ball is off-loaded. Media interested in covering the event should contact:

Tim O’Brien
VP Communications
Ripley Entertainment Inc.
Obrien@ripleys.com
Office
– 615-646-7465
Cell – 615-496-5949

About Ripley Entertainment Inc.

Ripley Entertainment Inc. (www.ripleys.com), keepers of the venerable Ripley’s Believe It or Not! brand, is a global leader in location-based entertainment, entertaining more than 13 million annually at its 70-plus attractions in 13 countries.  In addition to its 30 Believe It or Not! museums, the Orlando, Florida-based company has publishing, licensing and broadcast divisions that oversee projects including the syndicated Believe It or Not! television show, best-selling books and the popular syndicated cartoon strip, Ripley’s Believe It or Not!, that still runs daily in 42 countries. Ripley Entertainment is a Jim Pattison Company, the third-largest privately held company in Canada.

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