Meet 11-year-old Eli, who has set a new world record for identifying the most Harry Potter characters from quotes from the Harry Potter films in one minute! And as he explains here, it probably won’t be his last record-breaking attempt
Eli Chmelik has been a Harry Potter fan since he was able to read – at the age of six. And now the 11-year-old has taken things to a new, record-breaking level, by setting a new world record for identifying the most Harry Potter characters from quotes from the films in one minute.
He was inspired to become a world record breaker after seeing a similar record for Star Wars movie quotes in a copy of the Guinness Book of World Records – another of his favourite books.
Eli, from Manningtree in Essex, successfully identified 19. The record breaker, carried out in July 2021, was made official when the Guinness Book of World Records issued his certificate in late December – a wonderful Christmas present for an ambitious young lad.
Eli’s challenge took place with two independent witnesses, two independent timekeepers and another independent ‘reader’ to read him the quotes as specified by the Guinness Book of World Records. The requirements for the length of quotes, the number allowed from a single character and their randomisation process were very specific. The event took place on video so that it could be submitted digitally for official checking by the Guinness Book of World Records.
Eli was still waiting for his World Record certificate to be issued when he started secondary school at the top-performing Colchester Royal Grammar School in September 2021. After Eli’s whole family caught covid in October, his dad was hospitalised for three weeks and had just returned home when Eli finally received his certificate in the post in December. It was with huge excitement and relief that the family could finally be together to celebrate his achievement.
Eli says: ‘It felt like a really special moment when I got my certificate – I felt very happy and so pleased that it had finally come together.’
At just three years old Eli was found to be in the 99.8th percentile for cognitive ability in a test by Potential Plus UK. At six, he was devouring adult Harry Potter books.
His mother, Bonny, adds: ‘I remember he’d struggle to hold the books himself as they were too big for his small hands! In Year Four (aged nine) Eli’s reading age was 16 and he became the first ‘Word Millionaire’ in his school as part of the Accelerated Reader Programme.
‘Eli is an extraordinary boy with an amazing mind. I’m so proud of him for taking on this challenge himself and succeeding! I’m totally biased but if anyone deserves this World Record, it’s him. He is a huge Harry Potter fan and even now, he reads and re-reads the whole J.K. Rowling series. He literally knows them word for word and his World Record is evidence of that!’
When asked if he will be attempting another World Record, Eli commented: ‘I probably will. It was quite fun!’