This Is the Highest Number Anyone Has Ever Counted to—Can You Guess It?

Hint: it took him almost three months!

NumbersTatiana Ayazo/Rd.comIt seems like there’s nothing people won’t do to attain a world record, as our list of the craziest world record set in every US state proves. But with all the bizarre records out there, it’s still rare that someone will devote three months of his or her life to beating a world record—without doing much else. And yet one Alabama man did just that. A software engineer named Jeremy Harper read numbers aloud off of a computer screen for 89 days, setting the world record for the highest any single person has ever counted.

Harper’s massive counting milestone took place in 2007. He took time off work (yes, his boss gave him the go-ahead), holed up in his apartment, set up a camera, and filmed himself saying the numbers one through one million.

That’s right—the highest number a single human has ever counted to is a nice, even one million. Harper still holds the record for the highest number counted out loud by one person. According to, he counted for about 16 hours every day, without taking a day off, leaving his apartment, or even shaving. He did take breaks to do everyday, life-giving activities, like sleep and eat, as well as to have a little fun (he busted some dance moves after hitting the halfway point. Personally, we’re glad he snuck some exercise in there!)

He began counting on June 18, 2007, and hit the million mark on September 14 of the same year, ending his counting spree just shy of three months after he started. Immediately after uttering the words “one million,” he celebrated by breaking into The Chicken Dance for all of his viewers to see.

Harper wasn’t just doing it to get attention, though. His record-breaking feat was also a fundraiser for a charity called The Ability Experience, dedicated to helping people with disabilities. He ended up raising about 12,000 dollars!

So, now you know—if you succeed in becoming a millionaire, and decide to count all your money, know what you’re signing up for. Counting to a million is no small feat.

Next, learn why it’s a good thing if children count on their fingers!


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Meghan Jones
Meghan Jones is a Staff Writer for who has been writing since before she could write. She graduated from Marist College with a Bachelor of Arts in English and has been writing for Reader's Digest since 2017. In spring 2017, her creative nonfiction piece "Anticipation" was published in Angles literary magazine.