German retiree sets new 54,000-piece jigsaw world record

German clinches jigsaw record

Jigsaw pieces. Credit: adempercem/

Any jigsaw fans will know the sense of achievement one feels when one completes a mammoth puzzle of 1,000 pieces or more, imagine a jigsaw of 54,000 pieces.

Hans-Josef Schaadt, a 62-year-old man from Germany, has achieved an astonishing world record by completing a 54,000-piece puzzle in just 99 days. This remarkable accomplishment has left puzzle enthusiasts around the globe in awe.

Breaking the record

Schaadt, a former miner who comes from Oberkirchen, North Rhineland, has officially set a new world record for the fastest assembly of a jigsaw puzzle.

The previous record stood at 137 days, but Schaadt shattered this milestone by piecing together his massive 2.04 by 8.64-meter puzzle in a mere 99 days.

The enormous puzzle, weighing approximately 30 kilograms, featured over 55 replicas of iconic paintings, including the renowned Mona Lisa by Leonardo da Vinci and Van Gogh‘s Starry Night.

Schaadt embarked on this extraordinary puzzle journey on October 1, 2023, in a room within a local bar in Oberkirchen. He dedicated eight to ten hours daily to assembling the puzzle pieces, culminating in an awe-inspiring achievement.

Record-setting technique

For his final push towards the finish line, Hans-Josef prepared 54 boards, each containing a thousand glued-together puzzle pieces. The German Records Institute (RID) closely monitored his progress through a camera that the RID had access to on weekends.

To celebrate his remarkable accomplishment, Hans-Josef Schaadt shared his joy with the residents of Oberkirchen. His family had given him the colossal puzzle as a Christmas gift in 2021, which came divided into 27 bags, each containing 2,000 pieces.

Hans-Josef Schaadt can now proudly hold the title of the ‘fastest assembly of a 54,000-piece puzzle by a single person.’

It’s astounding to witness the dedication and passion displayed by individuals like Hans-Josef Schaadt. His record-breaking 54,000-piece puzzle assembly showcases the potential of human determination and the allure of a seemingly insurmountable challenge.

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Written by

John Ensor

Originally from Doncaster, Yorkshire, John now lives in Galicia, Northern Spain with his wife Nina. He is passionate about news, music, cycling and animals.