A 2,350 Pound Pumpkin Named Tiger King Wins The ‘Super Bowl of Pumpkins’
A Minnesota man and his humongous pumpkin have taken home the top prize in a competition that’s known as the ‘Super Bowl of Pumpkins’.
Travis Gienger entered his giant gourd into the 47th Half Moon Bay’s Annual Safeway World Championship Pumpkin Weigh-Off in California, which took place on Monday 12 October.
While he’s never entered the contest before, Gienger has been growing pumpkins for 27 years, and had been working all season towards this year’s bash.
And his hard work clearly paid off, as Gienger ended up taking home $16,450 in prize money – receiving $7 per pound in a ‘pay-by-the-pound’ system – after his entry was named Pumpkin King of Half Moon Bay.
The pumpkin was nicknamed the ‘Tiger King’ by Gienger, who was inspired by Netflix documentary , which proved to be one of the biggest hits of this year.
“We nicknamed it Tiger King because of 2020,” he said.
“We thought it was going to be orange and white and there are some white stripes and some white spots on it.”
This year’s competition offered a special $30,000 mega prize to anyone who broke the world record of 2,624 pounds, which was set in a weigh-off in Germany back in 2016, but contest officials said no one turned up with a record-breaking pumpkin.
However, Gienger is more than happy with his win, telling CNN he decided to enter the contest at Half Moon this year because it’s known as the ‘Super Bowl of Pumpkins’.
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He said his winning moment was ‘quite a joy’, but is undecided on whether he’ll re-enter again next year to beat his new record – not least because the 35-hour journey to get there sounds like it was fairly stressful.
Gienger said he took extreme measures to ensure the pumpkin remained intact, including building a special palette for his trailer, wrapping Tiger King in blankets and pool noodles and throwing dirt in the back to keep its vines watered.
“People were wondering what we were hauling when we stopped at the gas station and we had to throw buckets of water on it,” he added.
“It was kind of funny.”