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Battle of the Bulbs: the Global Holiday Lights Showdown

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What started with one glowing red nose has turned into an arms race, so to speak, for Christmas lights bragging rights. For the last 13 years, two families on opposite sides of the world—one in Canberra, Australia and the other in LaGrangeville, New York— have been battling for the Guinness World Record for "Most Lights on a Residential Property." According to the Atlantic, the Richards family in Australia initiated the rivalry by festooning their property with over 331,000 holiday lights and glowing sculptures in 2001. Then the Gay family, in New York, upped the ante by draping their house with 346,283 lights, including a shark in a Santa hat and a synchronized musical soundtrack. At that point, it became a total grudge match.

The Australian family—who must have labored for months to string up 29 miles of wire on their house and grounds—snatched the record back in 2013 by illuminating their abode with 502,165 lights. But with the help of a sponsorship from Ritz Crackers, this year the Americans reigned supreme in the reindeer rivalry. They looped a staggering 601,736 lights around their property, thus ensuring that the coveted record and astonishing electricity bill would be theirs once again.

"My family and I are thrilled to bring the World Record back to the United States," Tim Gay told Guinness, according to the Atlantic. He then added, in a clear dig at the Australians: "And we're even more excited that we did it with nearly 100,000 more lights than the previous record." Photos and one-upmanship, below:

· The Intense Competition to Be the World's Most-Decorated House [Atlantic]
· All Holiday Trimmings posts [Curbed National]