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Dad-Of-Two Becomes 'Candy Crush' Champion After Beating Out One Million Competitors

Adam in his running gear (PA Real Life/King)

A Guinness World Record holding endurance runner has bagged himself another title as the UK's first Candy Crush champion.

Adam "Tango" Holland has been such a fan of the popular mobile game since its launch in 2012 that he even plays it when he is using the treadmill.

Massively competitive since childhood, when he heard a radio advert for the app's first ever Candy Crush Saga All Stars tournament last month, he jumped at the chance to get involved.


After beating more than one million other entrants, he took the title in a virtual final hosted by DJ Roman Kemp and featuring cameos from celebrities like: Love Island host Laura Whitmore, Countdown maths genius Rachel Riley, and Britain's Got Talent judge Alesha Dixon.

“I was absolutely speechless to be crowned champion," Adam said.

“A couple of days later, I got a huge trophy delivered to my house. It's now proudly displayed in my man cave at home. My family absolutely love it and since I posted about my win on social media, I've had loads of messages from my followers too, which has been lovely."

Adam in his running gear (PA Real Life/King)

Taking pride in pushing himself to the limit, in 2010 Adam became one of the youngest people ever to run 100 marathons.

He also has a number of Guinness World Records to his name. Including the fastest aggregated time (27hrs, 38mins and 36 seconds to run 10 marathons in 10 days) and the fastest half marathon completed on a treadmill (10 minutes and seven seconds).

At first, when Candy Crush Saga launched in 2012, he enjoyed a quick game every now and then to unwind.

The approximate amount of kilometers in swipes covered by players since Candy Crush Saga launched

“I've always been a gamer, " he said. “I had all the consoles as a kid and loved puzzle games or anything to do with strategy that gets you thinking."

“I like Candy Crush Saga, as it's something you can just jump on now and again. It relaxes my mind and is a way to switch off and unwind, while also keeping your brain occupied. I've even played it on the treadmill before while I've been running."

Adam in his running gear (PA Real Life/King)

But last month, Adam heard the radio announcement for the first ever Candy Crush Saga tournament and jumped at the chance to bag a new title.

A staggering one million plus entrants competed in the qualifying phases, with 53,200 making it through to the quarter finals.

The numbers were then whittled down to 363 for the semi-finals, before the top 10 battled it out in the grand finale.

“I actually didn't have to play any more than usual to practice. I didn't think I was in with much of a chance, as there were people playing who'd got to much higher levels than me," Adam said.

“We were given all these different challenges, like getting as many candies of a certain color as we could and our results were displayed on this virtual leader board. It was fun playing alongside so many different people from all walks of life."

“The leader board was quite interesting to watch as it was updated in real time. The semi-final was especially competitive."

Adam in his running gear (PA Real Life/Katherine Holland)

“I had a set amount of hours to get as high a score as possible. Luckily, it was my day off work – but the top few spots of the leader board kept changing as people overtook each other," he added.

“I managed to steal the win at the last moment."

As well as playing the game itself, the final also challenged players to take part in a number of special rounds set by celebrities.

Rachel Riley asked contestants to solve an equation while they played, Laura Whitmore judged their "game faces" and Alesha Dixon challenged them to come up with a rhyme.

Adam in his running gear (PA Real Life/Katherine Holland)

TOWIE star Mark Wright appeared in between rounds to give entrants special hints that would help them do well.

“I really wanted to win one of those," said Adam.

“I won Alesha's round which was amazing. She announced that, then told me that I'd scored the highest overall and had won the entire thing. The moment I was crowned Candy Crush champion was great. I didn't know what to say."

As well as a huge Candy Crush Saga trophy, Adam won a year's supply of special gold bars, which can be used to make in-app purchases.

Still basking in the glory of his triumph, he has vowed to continue playing Candy Crush Saga, which is now so popular that King (the company behind the franchise) estimates that in the UK alone fans have covered approximately 16 million kilometers in swipes while playing it.

“Every time I walk into the room where I keep my trophy, it's the first thing I see," said Adam.

“It's amazing to have beaten so many people. I've run marathons before where I've come 36th out of tens of thousands, but to say I'm the best in over a million is something else."

Adam in his running gear (PA Real Life/Katherine Holland)

Already planning his next challenge, Adam now hopes to try out for Team GB's endurance running squad. But with so many events in the sports world still on hold due to the pandemic, he will mostly be competing virtually.

“I get a lot out of pushing myself and inspiring other people. I love hearing their stories and seeing how far they go with various challenges," he said.

“It's a very different win to ones I've had before, but I am so pleased to be the UK's first Candy Crush champ."