List of Countdown records

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The following is a list of Countdown records compiled using The Countdown Corral, The Countdown Page, Countdown Update UK and automated and human research from this wiki. Much of the list is divided up into records from the 15 round era, the 9 round era and the 14 round finals, since the considerable differences between these formats make it almost impossible to compare the games like for like. This is particularly difficult when comparing the classic 15 round format to the current one, where differences of just a few points per game are to be expected.

Contents

15 rounds

High scores

  • The highest score set by a challenger was 134 by Hamish Williamson. The highest score for a debutant was 129, set by Giles Hutchings. Williamson had already appeared once before in Series 40, so the matter of who holds the record for highest debut score is somewhat controversial.
  • The highest ever total over 11 games, the maximum possible in one series, was 1307 by Julian Fell, including the aforementioned scores of 146 and 138.
  • The highest possible score was available in Episode 3967, when five niners and a number of other favourable rounds made for a possible 173. Only one of the nine letter words was found by the contestants (oddly by the losing contestant), neither of whom managed to score a century. This is the only episode to date in which five nine-letter words have been available.
  • The most nines found by one contestant in one game is four; Julian Fell found SALMONIDS, DEPORTING, INGATHERS and DEFLATION in his record-breaking game.
A few other losing scores over 100 have been recorded: Ciaran McCarthy lost with a score of 104,Terry Rattle lost with a score of 107 in Series 47, which was later beaten by David Williams's losing score of 113 – 111. Both Rattle and Williams lost to Chris Wills. McCarthy, Rattle and Lesley Hines are the only players ever to have lost on their début whilst scoring over 100, Hines getting 104 in Series 61.
In the 30th Birthday Championship, no fewer than 8 matches ended with the defeated contestant scoring 100 or more. They were: Mark Deeks (losing to Jack Hurst 108 – 103), Nick Deller (losing to Mark Tournoff 101 – 100), Chris Davies (losing to David O'Donnell 127 – 117), Innis Carson (losing to Kirk Bevins 112 – 102), Jack Worsley (losing to Jon O'Neill 122 – 104), Jonathan Rawlinson (losing to Jack Hurst 116 – 105), Jon O'Neill (losing to Conor Travers 120 – 102) and Jack Hurst (losing to Conor Travers 146 – 111).
  • The highest-scoring tie-break conundrum was between Chris Davies and David O'Donnell in the second round of the 30th Birthday Championship. After the regular conundrum PATRANGME, the scores were neck and neck at 117 – 117, so a second conundrum BAGOGLORY was necessary. O'Donnell solved it to score 127 after the tie-breaker.
  • While the all-time record score is 146, Dylan Taylor holds the record for the highest score with no nine letter words of 124, beating the old record of 122 that Jon O'Neill laid down in the 30th Birthday Championship in a perfect game, albeit under the classic 15 round format. The highest with one nine is Jack Hurst's score of 133 and the highest with two is Glen Webb's 141. Conor Travers found three nine in his 146 point game, whilst Julian Fell achieved the same total with four nines in Episode 3387. Nobody has ever found five nines in one game. If you ignore the nine-point bonus for nine-letter words altogether in order to combine these records, Jack Hurst's above score of 133 becomes 124, and is the record score under this system. Interestingly, Julian Fell's equal all-time record score of 146 would only be worth 110.
  • Kirk Bevins was the first player to get a maximum score in a 15 round game. He scored 126 out of a possible 126 on 4 March 2009. Bevins equalled this feat with his score of 130 out of 130 during the 30th Birthday Championship. This same mini-series contained four further perfect games. Jon O'Neill scored 122 out of 122 in his quarter-final against Jack Worsley, and Conor Travers achieved three consecutive perfect games with 119 in his second round and quarter-final matches, and 120 against O'Neill to reach the tournament final.

Low scores

  • The lowest recorded maximum in a 15-round game is 105, which included a numbers game in which no points were available and a series of difficult letters rounds. The Championship of Champions XI final had a maximum of 106, only one point more.

9 rounds

High scores

  • At least two contestants found two nine letter words in a nine round game. Jill Bright scored 81 in her second game. She got two nine letter words in rounds 1 and 2, but failed to solve the conundrum and could have beaten the highest ever score by 8 points. Similarly, John Snedden found two nine-letter words in Episode 2693 and scored 80 points before the conundrum, but also failed to break the high score record. See the list of 9-round scores over 75.
  • The highest ever eight game total was 535, achieved by David Williams. This beat Harvey Freeman's total of 523 in Series 10. The highest ever total over the maximum eleven possible games in one series was 760, also set by Harvey Freeman. This includes 10 9 round games and a 14 round final.
  • The highest known max score for a 9 round game is 106. This included three niners, EXTENSION, CRUDITIES/DIURETICS and GUARDIANS. The Richard Whiteley Gotcha episode actually also had a max of 106, but this is not usually considered to count because the rounds were set up to include certain words.
  • The highest known 9-round score with no nine-letter words is 75 points; this record is shared by Harvey Freeman, achieving this score in Episode 466, and Richard Campbell, who got it in Episode 1504. If the 9-point bonus for nine-letter words were excluded, these would also have been the joint highest 9-round scores of all time.

Low scores

  • The lowest known maximum score for a 9-round game is 59 points, shared by Episodes 1211 and 1999.

14 rounds

Other

  • Conor Travers holds the record for the most Countdown appearances since the introduction of the 15 round format. In 20 appearances, in which he has won 19 of them, he's scored 2,279 points; this is the highest ever total, though players who have played more games than Travers did so in the shorter format. For this reason, Travers also holds the record for the most airtime, with 900 minutes or 15 hours. He averaged 113.95 points per game.
  • The longest word to come up in reverse order on the letters board was the niner DECANTERS in Episode 4523.
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