NEWS OF THE WEIRD: Tallest man, Reno bomb scare and a lucky Nigerian first lady |

NEWS OF THE WEIRD: Tallest man, Reno bomb scare and a lucky Nigerian first lady

The Associated Press
FILE - In this Sept. 12, 2009 file photo, Igor Vovkovinskiy, 27, of Rochester, Minn, standing 7-feet and 8-inches tall, listens to President Barack Obama, not pictured, during a health insurance reform rally in Minneapolis. Vovkovinskiy was recognized by Guinness World Records on Monday, May 24, 2010, as the tallest man in the United States. (AP Photo/Haraz N. Ghanbari, File)

ROCHESTER, Minn. (AP) – Guinness World Records has recognized a Minnesota man as the tallest man in the United States.

The Guinness World Record Association measured Rochester’s Igor Vovkovinskiy (voh-kov-IN’-ski) at 7 feet, 8.33 inches tall during NBC’s “The Dr. Oz Show” on Monday. He edged out Norfolk, Va., sheriff’s deputy George Bell by a third of an inch.

The 27-year-old Vovkovinskiy is originally from Ukraine but moved to Minnesota with his mother when he was 7 years old for treatment at the Mayo Clinic for a pituitary disease that spurred his rapid growth.

Vovkovinskiy now attends the Minnesota School of Business and is pursuing a degree in paralegal studies.

Guinness says the world’s tallest man is Turkey’s Sultan Kosen. He measures in at 8 feet, 1 inch tall.

ERIE, Pa. (AP) – A Pennsylvania man who won a $2,001 slot machine jackpot must forfeit the winnings and will be charged with trespassing, because he had previously banned himself from casinos under a state program for problem gamblers.

State police have not identified the 55-year-old Waterford Township man who won the jackpot Friday at Erie’s Presque Isle Downs & Casino.

Under the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board’s self-exclusion program, problem gamblers can choose to ban themselves from casinos for one year, five years or for life. Banned players are charged with criminal trespass if they enter a casino and must forfeit any winnings.

The money goes to a compulsive and problem gambler treatment fund.

RENO, Nev. (AP) – A mechanical traffic counter in Reno had nothing to count for nearly two hours after police closed down the road for fear the metal box with wires sticking out might be a bomb.

Reno police dispatched the bomb squad to the area west of the downtown casino district about 6 p.m. on Monday after a report about a young man with a suspicious box.

Sgt. Walt Frazier says they found the man, who told them he thought it was a battery jumper but that when he tried to pick it up, it was bolted to the ground.

The man said he determined it was a traffic counting device. After closing down four blocks of traffic for about 90 minutes, the bomb unit confirmed he was right.

LAGOS, Nigeria (AP) – It appears as though Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan’s luck might have rubbed off on his wife. A spokesman for Union Bank says First Lady Patience Jonathan has won a motorcycle in a drawing the bank held for its customers.

Union Bank spokesman Francis Barde told The Associated Press on Friday that officials have informed the first lady that she won and invited her to claim the motorcycle, known throughout Nigeria as an “okada.”

Chance has played a large part in putting Jonathan into the presidency of the oil-rich nation. Jonathan formally assumed office after the May 5 death of the elected president. Previously, Jonathan became a state governor after the elected governor was indicted on corruption charges.

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