A pumpkin weighing 2,560 pounds set a new U.S. record on Monday at the 49th World Championship Pumpkin Weigh-Off in northern California.
The giant gourd was presented at the contest in Half Moon Bay, south of San Francisco.
Minnesota horticulture teacher, Travis Gienger, drove with the pumpkin for 35 hours and won the same contest two years ago.
“Minnesota has a great midyear, but our spring in our parts is really, really tough. So to do it in Minnesota, it just shouldn’t happen,” he told The Associated Press. “It’s like winning the Tour de France on a big wheel. You know, you can only hope, but it worked.”
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“You think driving in a snowstorm is bad? Try driving one of these things,” the Anoka resident added.
Gienger broke a record set last week in New York, where a grower raised a massive pumpkin weighing 2,554 pounds.
According to the event’s website, first place receives the “world’s biggest prize” of $9 per pound. A special $30,000 mega-prize would be offered for a world record-breaking pumpkin at the event.
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“Two-time winner Travis Gienger of Anoka MN is 2022 Pumpkin King! His 2560-pound Rhinoceros-sized Mega-Gourd set a new North American Record and is the big winner of today’s Safeway World Championship Pumpkin Weigh-Off in Half Moon Bay, California!” the website exclaimed.
A grower in Italy holds the record for the heaviest pumpkin in the world.
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He grew a 2,702-pound squash last year, according to Guinness World Records.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.