Bored Chester Student Conducts ‘Painful’ Experiment To Find How Many Licks It Takes To Finish A Lollipop

by : Cameron Frew on :
Lollipop experimentKennedy News

When 50 Cent said he’d take you to the candy shop and let you lick his lollipop, how many licks do you think it’d take to finish it?

Enter James Hunt, an engineering student who became so jaded with quarantine life without his boyfriend that he counted how many times he had to lick a lollipop before it was finished.


The 23-year-old, from Chester, spent nearly two hours licking a strawberry Chupa Chups lolly down to the stick in a ‘painful test of stamina’ – he was even left shaking as a result.

James Hunt's Lollipop ExperimentKennedy News

James explained the mission was born out of ‘sheer boredom’. After catching sight of a lollipop, he became more and more curious about its longevity. ‘As a child you tend to wonder about things like that, but we’ve got all the time in the world right now to sit there and do a lot of random things,’ he said.

It all took place on Sunday, April 26, and James didn’t mess around. It was a thorough test, conducted in tandem with a click counter app as well as regular photos.

James Hunt's Lollipop ExperimentKennedy News

Believe it or not, licking a lolly down to the nub isn’t easy. He set himself regular goals of 250 licks, updated his friends on Snapchat each time, however by 500 his tongue started to hurt.

James explained: 

Usually you tend to suck it so you’ve got a lot of saliva and I didn’t think I had the stamina either. I started to lick it and after about 500 it starts to hurt and then I started to get shaky as well for some reason.

I didn’t want to bend the lolly stick so I was pushing it in one direction with one finger and the other direction with the other finger, so I started to get a proper shake on the go. It became like a test of stamina.

James Hunt's Lollipop ExperimentKennedy News

As the lolly became smaller, evolving through the gritty stage and getting a smoother, tastier point, James battled straining patience. ‘Then I thought, you know, what we’re already an hour into this, I might as well see this through,’ he said.

Right now, like many others, James can’t attend college or any part-time jobs. ‘It’s been a very boring time by myself. Very terrible,’ he said. His partner of two years, Daniel, recently moved back home to Shropshire – unfortunately, they haven’t seen each other due to lockdown.

James Hunt's Lollipop ExperimentKennedy News

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However, he said ‘the experiment was definitely good training for when I see Daniel again’. He battled on with the lolly, managing to update his friends throughout. Once he reached 1,250 clicks, he stopped to take a picture every 50 after that.

After finishing the Herculean feat, he was wary people would think he’d lied, ‘because most people would have thought I was sitting there sucking it and then making some random numbers up’.

James Hunt's Lollipop ExperimentKennedy News

Fortunately, his click counter app produced a handy graph to prove to naysayers he hadn’t fudged his figures, adding ‘some sort of scientific effect to it’.


He posted his results to Facebook, writing: 

I got bored so now you know how many kicks it takes a 23-year-old, 6’2″, 182 pound man to lick a lollipop down to the stick. Spoiler, it’s 1,417 licks. I’m going to need more data, so feel free to post your findings.

The experiment proved to be a hit, amassing more than 1,500 likes and 1,800 comments. One of his mates commented: ‘Shall we have a comp… who licks the best?’ James replied: ‘Ask [my boyfriend], I’m pretty good at the tongue punching department.’

James Hunt's Lollipop ExperimentKennedy News

Following the huge reaction, James is now thinking of organising a race against his work pals to see who can finish one the quickest. ‘Facebook was going crazy. I didn’t realise so many people needed this answer in their life,’ he said.

Next question: how many licks does it take to erode a jawbreaker? The people have to know!

If you have a story you want to tell, send it to UNILAD via [email protected]

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Cameron Frew

After graduating from Glasgow Caledonian University with an NCTJ and BJTC-accredited Multimedia Journalism degree, Cameron ventured into the world of print journalism at The National, while also working as a freelance film journalist on the side, becoming an accredited Rotten Tomatoes critic in the process. He's now left his Scottish homelands and taken up residence at UNILAD as a journalist.

Topics: Food, experiment, lockdown, Quarantine