Man Sets Hugging Record: 7,777 Hugs

Jeff Ondash, a 51-year-old Ohio man, giving 7, 777 hugs in 24 hours for a new world record. He broke the record Saturday night outside the Paris Las vegas hotel-casino on the Las Vegas Strip.

“When you hug somebody, they all walk away from each other smiling,” Ondash said. “They say an apple a day keeps the doctor away; a hug a day — it’s just fun.”

Ondash said he wanted to become the world’s hugging champion to raise money for the American Heart Association during American Heart month because his brother and father both died relatively young because of heart problems.

Ondash, of Canfield, Ohio, already held the record for most hugs in one hour with 1,205, according to Guinness World Records.

The previous record of 5,000 hugs in one day was set last year by Siobhan O’Connor in Dublin, Ireland, Guinness spokesman Philip Robertson said.