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Lake Nebagamon man's ball of twine catches national attention

Jim Kotera has every reason to believe he has created one of the world's largest balls of twine. Until recently there were several folks, from Kansas to France, boasting the title. But when a CBS News team recently showed up at his door wanting t...

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Jim Kotera has every reason to believe he has created one of the world's largest balls of twine.

Until recently there were several folks, from Kansas to France, boasting the title.

But when a CBS News team recently showed up at his door wanting to film his behemoth twine collection, Kotera wasn't about to argue. The segment is scheduled to air tonight during the CBS News with Katie Couric beginning at 6 p.m.

Kotera, who lives in the town of Highland near Lake Nebagamon, has been amassing the quirky attraction since April 3, 1979.

"I had heard that there were people out there claiming to have the world's largest ball of twine and I decided that I would beat them," he says. "Somewhere along the way, I became the famous twine man and this started being referred to as the world's largest ball of twine."

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Indeed, neighbors agree that folks from as far away as Denmark have stopped by during their travels to see the tidy twine ball. And those very same neighbors have contributed to Kotera's efforts.

"My friends and neighbors save the string for me and bring it to me in bags," he says.

Kotera then weighs the twine and adds it to the giant ball. And that, he says, is how he knows it now weighs 19,875 pounds and would stretch from Northern Wisconsin to the Wyoming border if unraveled. It is also why he thinks it caught the attention of the national media.

"I think they found me on the Internet," Kotera says. "They came from New York on Tuesday, Sept. 16, 2008. They filmed me working. They were here for a good three hours."

If Kotera, who has worked for nearly 30 years at the Highland dump, has his way it will become an even bigger attraction after CBS News airs tonight.

"It's pretty exciting," he says. "I plan on doing this until I die and it's pretty neat -- pretty darned neat -- that the people all the way in New York are paying attention. I'm having a ball!"

Related Topics: LAKE NEBAGAMONSUPERIOR
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