Australian Christmas tree sets world record with 518,838 lights, beating Japanese record

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An Australian has set a world record by illuminating a Christmas tree in the capital, Canberra, with 518,838 twinkling lights.

Guinness World Records confirmed that David Richards broke the record on Friday for the most lights on an artificial Christmas tree that had been held for five years by Universal Studios Japan in Osaka. That 36-meter (118-foot) Japanese tree had set a new benchmark of 374,280 lights earlier this month.

Richards, a Canberra lawyer and businessman, brought together a team of volunteers including an electrical engineer, structural engineer, welders, carpenters, masons and steel fixers to erect the display on a 22-meter (72-foot) steel tree.

Richards creates such Christmas extravaganzas to raise money for Canberra's Sudden Infant Death Syndrome charity.