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Update: We’ve made a correction to the title of this article. The new high score was achieved for the first time in one year, not two years.

The back-and-forth world record for the high score in the original arcade title Donkey Kong is a highly competitive — and well documented — battle of wills. Made famous by the 2007 documentary King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters, the record has passed between various players over the years, including Billy Mitchell, Steve Wiebe, and Wes Copeland.

On September 5th, 2012, Robbie Lakeman dethroned Hank Chien, who had held the record off and on since 2010. After that, the record passed between Wes Copeland and Robbie Lakeman, until March 17th, 2019, when John McCurdy beat Lakeman and got his first Donkey Kong world record.

That record stood for over a year, until June 15th, 2020, when Robbie Lakeman reclaimed the throne with a high score of 1,260,700, beating McCurdy’s score by 1,700 points.

Judging by the competitive scene surrounding the game, it’s possible the record won’t stand for long, but it’s an impressive feat all the same! Congrats, Robbie!


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Written by Bryan Finch

A video editor by trade, Bryan Finch is a lifetime Nintendo fan, and he loves writing about his passions. He also spends too much time playing and watching fighting games. Bryan enjoys​​ movies, comics, cooking with his wife, and the idea of Elite Beat Agents 2.