Embracing history: Hug record in Vegas

51-year-old Ohio man gives 7,777 hugs in 24 hours for new world record

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A 51-year-old Ohio man has embraced the Valentine’s Day spirit faster than anyone before, giving 7,777 hugs in 24 hours for a new world record.

Jeff Ondash, who sought the squeezes under the costumed alter ego Teddy McHuggin, broke the record Saturday night outside the Paris Las Vegas hotel-casino on the Las Vegas Strip.

Ondash says he hoped to become the world’s hugging champion to raise money for the American Heart Association during American Heart month. Ondash says the cause is important to him because his brother and father both died because of heart problems.

Guinness World Records says the previous record of 5,000 hugs in one day was set last year by Siobhan O’Connor in Dublin, Ireland.

Ondash also holds the one-hour hugs record with 1,205.

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