Travis Gienger, a horticulture teacher from Minnesota, grew a gargantuan pumpkin at home and drove it 35 hours across the country to enter it in an annual pumpkin-weighing contest in Northern California. The end result: a new U.S. record.
Gienger, of Anoka, Minnesota, set the new record with a 2,560-pound pumpkin in the 49th World Championship Pumpkin Weigh-Off in Half Moon Bay, south of San Francisco.
Gienger’s two-day trip to California saw him treat the pumpkin with special care, wrapping it in plastic and wet blankets for the ride, according to Minneapolis news channel ABC 5 (KSTP-TV).
“Minnesota has a great midyear, but our spring in our parts is really, really tough,” Gienger told reporters. “So to do it in Minnesota, it just shouldn’t happen. It’s like winning the Tour de France on a Big Wheel. You know, you can only hope, but it worked.”
Gienger, who won the same contest in 2020, narrowly broke a record set last week in New York, where a grower raised a pumpkin that weighed 2,554 pounds.
The record for the heaviest pumpkin in the world belongs to a man in Italy, who grew a 2,702-pound squash in 2021, according to Guinness World Records.
Gienger said hauling it across the country on an attached trailer proved to be a challenge in itself.
“You think driving in a snowstorm is bad? Try driving one of these things”
Travis Gienger, a horticulture teacher from Minnesota, set a new U.S. record Monday for the heaviest pumpkin after raising one weighing 2,560 pounds. https://t.co/T8vuqaCD2N pic.twitter.com/AbUj3cYwol— CBS News (@CBSNews) October 11, 2022
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