Record UNO game held in Bearden


Sven Petersen, the regional reigning UNO champion, recently staged the world’s largest UNO game at his Bearden home. Combining his son’s Simpsons and Harry Potter Editions plus six other packs of UNO cards, including his own prized Star Trek Edition, into one game was almost as difficult as getting 80 people together in his small West Knoxville living room.

Katie Ericson (l) takes her turn while Monica Jeter
shows off her hand.

But Petersen was up to the challenge, and invited his six friends, his son, and 72 neighbors over for beer, burgers, and UNO last November. “The record to beat was 50 people,” said Petersen. “The logistics involved getting all these people together was something else, but it sure was worth it.”

Katie Ericson, a 10 year old neighbor girl, enjoyed the large game. “I love UNO,” she chirped. “This game was crazy,” she added, “and I didn’t win.”

The game took approximately 3 hours and 45 minutes to play. “It would have lasted longer, but kickoff was at 7,” explained Petersen.

Sven Petersen plays UNO underwater.

Petersen did not win the game either. That honor went to 15 year old Jimmy Butler, who lives three doors down from Petersen. “Sven is a strange man, everybody says so, but nobody around here can turn down free food. I only played because I wanted to see how different it was from the computer game,” explained Jimmy while he stared intently at his Gameboy. “It’s more fun to shout UNO in a room full of people instead of at a screen.”

UNO is considered to be one of the world’s most popular family card games, even more popular than Rummy, with its easy-to-understand rules and complex challenges. Normally, UNO is a 7-10 player game, but by combining multiple decks of cards, more players may be added. It is easiest if everyone sits in a circle.

“Guiness does not have a category for largest UNO game, but we are pushing for it. The last record held for six years, so hopefully I won’t have to do this again for awhile,” said Petersen.