Doña Ana County



In between the dunks and dribbles of an upcoming Aggie men’s basketball game, a Doña Ana County Sheriff’s deputy will attempt to break a world record for the most hugs given in one minute.

Deputy Jamar Cotton will make the attempt at halftime when the New Mexico State University Aggies take on the University of Missouri at Kansas City on Saturday, Feb. 24. Tipoff is at 7 p.m.

The challenge is one of many that Deputy Cotton has taken on during his tenure with DASO. Since joining the ranks in 2011, he has done pushups to help raise money for scholarships, raised awareness for homelessness among veterans with a pull-up challenge, and helped a local boy get a temporary business license to host a lemonade stand to raise money to help the boy’s grandfather through chemotherapy.

According to Cotton, this challenge isn’t to raise money or bring awareness to any particular cause; it’s to show the community that a single act of kindness, like a hug, can go a long way to lift someone’s spirit.

“In everything I do, I make sure to stay positive and set the example that attitude is altitude,” said Cotton. “It’s impossible for us to know the battles other people might be struggling with, so why not be that light that shows them a little love and support?”

The current Guinness World Record for the most hugs given in one minute by an individual is 86, achieved by actor Jason Ritter in New York City on Oct. 9, 2017. The record was set during a live filming of ABC’s The View.

Cotton’s goal is to hug more than 100 people. He will attempt to break the record on the court of the Pan American Center during halftime. The participants will be selected prior to the event, and will be colleagues, family members and people in the various organizations with which Cotton volunteers.

To comply with Guinness standards, there will be two official timekeepers and two videographers that will document the attempt from two different angles. After Feb. 24, Guinness will review footage to determine if the attempt qualifies for the world record.