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Saturday July 17 1:19 AM ET

1st Perfect Game of Pac-Man Played

COOPER CITY, Fla. (AP) - Baseball has produced 15 perfect games in more than 120 years of the major leagues. Now,
after 19 years, Pac-Man has its first.

Billy Mitchell, 34, become the first person to master the video arcade classic when he posted a score of 3,333,360 during the
Fourth of July weekend at a New Hampshire arcade.

``This was the race to the Holy Grail,'' said Mitchell, an entrepreneur who runs two South Florida restaurants and markets a
brand of hot sauce.

No one ever had played a perfect Pac-Man game before, said Walter Day, chief scorekeeper for the Twin Galaxies
Intergalactic Score Board and editor of its Official Video Game and Pinball Book in Fairfield, Iowa. Game experts call the feat
a one in 10 billion phenomenon.

To attain Pac-Man perfection, one must navigate the yellow pie-shaped title character so it gobbles each and every dot, enemy
blue ghost, energizer and fruit on the game's 256 boards.

Mitchell accomplished the feat during a two-day quest at Funspot Family Entertainment Center in Weirs Beach, N.H. That's
the site of the Twin Galaxies International Classic Video Game and Pinball Tournament each May.

Starting anew each time he made a mistake, Mitchell finally found his groove in a game that lasted almost six hours.

``At about 1.9 million (points), I went off pattern,'' he said. ``I said to myself, `I'm losing it here. I didn't come this far to lose.' I
started talking out loud to myself, talking my way through it. I was able to cheat death, so to speak. It was flawless the rest of
the way.''

Though hardly a household name, Mitchell is famous among video game and pinball players, whose numbers worldwide are
estimated at 500 million.

At age 17, Mitchell set the world record in Donkey Kong, a title he still holds. Today, he holds the records for Pac-Man,
Donkey Kong and Donkey Kong Jr.

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