"The 1990 World Cup tops the list of record-breaking TV "pick-ups" (Source: National Grid, BBC)"
Even though the Superbowl Flush is a myth and our American readers have nothing to fear this coming Sunday, it doesn't mean that the collective ad avoidance doesn't strain urban infrastructure elsewhere. Virtual Economics unearthed a decade-old article from BBC about Brits leaving their TVs during the World Cup half-time to -- what else? -- make some tea:
"This mass synchronised tea-break has in the past caused huge power surges and problems for the National Grid, which operates the high-voltage transmission network in England and Wales.
A crack team of statisticians with their finger on the pulse of the TV sub-culture leaf through listings magazines in an attempt to predict peaks in electricity use."