An update from Sara Wilcox, my contact at Guinness Book of World Records PR in New York. As far as the 85,451 number, as you know by now, she provided this update: “We are still waiting to review ticket counts and the number is subject to change.”
I followed up via email and asked if they had an idea when the count will be done, and if they had a read on whether they expected the number to go up or down. (The GBWR blog post indicated numbers were going up). Her reply:
“Unfortunately not, we are not sure when we’ll have the final ticket scans to count. At this point we do not know how or if the number will change.”
So what to read from this? It sounds like they do indeed base their figures on ticket scans which definitely won’t jive with the U-M figure which includes “everybody” – bands, ushers, media…and I believe factors in tickets sold. We’ll see what they come up with.
The other question is the reliability of using scanned tickets as the data point. I know that in the past we’ve had problems with those – I mean, half the time I went to hockey games last year the guy tried to scan me three times and then just let me in. Well see.
Update: Speaking of reliability, more from The Daily today:
Additionally, Guinness only counted tickets that were scanned — not tickets that were ripped to show admittance, Trevor said. Because of the cold temperatures, some of the scanners’ batteries died, Trevor said, so those admitting people into the Big House had to start ripping tickets instead of scanning them.
“At some point during the day most (employees) who had scanners had to change out the battery, and during that time they had so many people still trying to come through,” Trevor said.