Fitchburg woman sets new Guinness World Record for largest four-leaf clover collection

Published: Feb. 26, 2023 at 10:18 AM CST
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - Some say it’s the luck of the Irish, but for Gabriella Gerhardt, it’s anything but luck. In fact, it’s something that brings joy to her life.

Gerhardt moved to Fitchburg in 2015, but her four-leaf clover collecting dates back to 2010.

“It started as just kind of a weird random thing that I did, but it’s turned into something that brings me peace and happiness,” she said.

On Saturday at the Fitchburg Public Library, a group of witnesses gathered to officially count her four-leaf clover collection. Gerhardt’s collection broke a record earlier this year, but Saturday was the official counting day for her to earn the Guinness World Record certificate.

And she did just that with the official certified tally at 118,791 four-leaf clovers. The collection surpasses the current record of 111,060 by over 7,000.

“In order to really find a clover, you have to let your mind clear, it’s a mindfulness exercise and so it was a very soothing experience. Every time you find one, I’ve found over 100 thousand, every time I find one I still get that little magic feeling it’s a little boost of serotonin,” she said.

She collected most of her collection of more than 138,000 four-leaf through 10-leaf clovers in Fitchburg, where she lives and also serves on the city council as an alder.

“My hot spots, which is like how you create the volume, I consider them secrets. I don’t share but that being said, people in Fitchburg spot me everywhere. I have friends who honk their horn. It’s become a little bit of a thing so people could probably figure it out if they see me wandering around especially in May and June,” Gerhardt said.

When certified, her collection of 119,172 four-leaf clovers (a mutation of the three-leaf clovers in a white clover or Trifolium repens plant, commonly found in grass mixes in parks and yards) will break the current record set at 111,060.

Gerhardt currently holds two Guinness World Records: one for finding 887 four-leaf clovers in eight hours and another for finding 451 clovers in one hour (a record that appeared on page 53 of the 2022 print edition of the Guinness Book of World Records). She also has two more world records pending confirmation: the largest certified collection of six-leaf clovers (1,437, which breaks the record of 43) and the largest collection of seven-leaf clovers (209, breaking the previous record of 17).

“I think it’ll be a little bit of a relief because it’s been something I’ve been working on for a long time and it’ll be nice to have that goal complete,” she said about what it will feel like to officially break the record.

Gerhardt said she will never stop collecting clovers, but now she will spend a little less time hunting for them.

“I don’t really consider them lucky. Or if they’re lucky, maybe the luck gets me to find the next one. Using the luck every time. With that being said, I live a very good life and I’m able to do my hobbies and do crazy things like this so I do feel very lucky,” she said.

The City of Fitchburg has a logo that is a stylized four-leaf clover, which Gerhardt didn’t realize until she moved to Fitchburg. She said the vast majority of the clovers in her collection were found in Fitchburg.

“Yeah, there’s something magic here. There was already a four-leaf clover logo here but now I’ve shown that there is real four-leaf clovers out in the wild here too and definitely more to come.”

You can find more about Gerhardt on her website and on social media.

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