Confirmed: that's a new Guinness World Record for human cannonball David "The Bullet" Smith! Massive congrats! @GWR @rukizzel @WatchMixer pic.twitter.com/sPKdilP15JMarch 13, 2018
Sea of Thieves is coming out on March 20, and as a reminder that you can shoot your fellow players out of cannons in Rare's open-world pirate game, Microsoft shot a real guy out of a cannon today. At an Xbox event held at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida (home of NFL team the Tampa Bay Buccaneers), human cannonball David "The Bullet" Smith was shot out of a 34-foot cannon ('Sea of Thieves' was written on the side) and flew a reported 200 feet through the air. Cleverly, he chose to land on an enormous air mattress and was unharmed. You can see for yourself in the video above.
Guinness World Records has confirmed that this is a new world record for the farthest distance for a human cannonball.
According to Guinness, the holder of the previous world record was David himself, who flew 193 feet, 8.8 inches in 2011. However, a glance at Wikipedia's page on human cannonballs tells us David's father, David "Cannonball" Smith, claims to have flown a distance of 200 feet, 4 inches in 2002.
Apparently, it was never verified by Guinness, though oddly enough on NPR in 2006, both Smiths spoke with Madeline Brand, and David Jr. stated that his father set a Guinness World Record of 201 feet when he was shot from a cannon over two Ferris wheels. So now I don't know what to believe. Simply because I found it, here is video of Smith Sr. being shot over two Ferris wheels in 2005, though it doesn't tell us if this is the unverified record-breaker or not.
I have to stop Googling these two human cannonballs at some point—and both of them having the same name isn't making things any easier—so I'll wrap this up by saying that David Jr. also holds the record for greatest height reached by being fired from a cannon, at 85 feet, 4 inches, and that appears to be uncontested. If you're hosting an event in the future and would like to hire a man to be shot out of a cannon, here is David "The Bullet" Smith's website.