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Pinball Player Going for Record

March 23, 2000

CANOGA PARK — If everything goes right, just before noon Sunday, Mandi Martin will own the record for consecutive hours spent playing pinball--or at least the numbest flipper fingers around.

Martin, a singer and songwriter, is attempting to log 555 hours, 55 minutes and 55 seconds at a pinball machine in her home, and thus earn a mention in the Guinness Book of Records. She began March 5--battling aliens with silver steel balls.

"When I finally leave my house, I'll be eligible to go to the movies on a senior citizen discount," Martin said Wednesday, three days after her 55th birthday, which she spent at the pinball machine.

The endeavor, which Martin says aims to bring attention to charities, has been equal parts physical and metaphysical.

To ensure legitimacy, two witnesses who sign notarized daily logs watch her constantly. Martin can accrue five minutes of sleep for every hour she plays. So she has trained herself to stay awake 24 hours at a time and then naps.

During her naps, Martin said, she hypnotizes herself, hangs from ankle straps attached to a gurney-like contraption and continues to play--with her eyes closed.

Martin is not accepting donations but provides links on her Web site--http://www.pinballchamp.com--to organizations such as Haven Hills, a support agency for victims of domestic violence, and Little Heroes/the Chad Aitken Foundation, which supports families after a child's death.

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