Good gourd, it’s one giant pumpkin!
A 43-year-old Minnesota educator can now boast he’s grown the heaviest pumpkin on earth.
Travis Gienger, a horticulture and landscape teacher at Anoka Technical College, set a new world record Monday for growing the plumpest pumpkin on the planet after growing one weighing 2,749 pounds.
For perspective: according to an online Alaska Wild fact sheet, Gienger’s pumpkin is about the equivalent weight of an adult male walrus.
A photo of Gienger celebrating after winning the 50th World Championship Pumpkin Weigh-Off in Half Moon Bay, south of San Francisco shows him dressed in an orange long-sleeve shirt and matching shoes, celebrating with a fist in the air before a crowd of spectators and photographers.
An unexpected win
Aside from pride, Gienger won $9 per pound, ($24,741) as well as a special $30,000 “mega-prize” for the new world-record breaking pumpkin, contest officials said.
“I was not expecting that. It was quite the feeling,” Gienger told The Associated Press.
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New world record beat by 47 pounds
Gienger set the new world record by adding 47 pounds to the pumpkin he grew in his backyard, the AP reported.
The grower told the news outlet he decided to give his seeds extra care as he grew them this year, adding extra fertilizer and watering them sometimes a dozen times a day.
The previous world record, according to Guinness World Records, was set at 2,702 pounds, grown a grown in 2021 by Stefano Cutrupi from Tuscany, Italy.
Gienger also set the U.S. record last year when one he created one weighing 2,560 pounds and two years prior in 2020, when he grew one weighing 2,350 pounds.
Grow on, Gienger. Grow on.
Contributing: Associated Press
Natalie Neysa Alund is a senior reporter for USA TODAY. Reach her at email@example.com and follow her on X @nataliealund.