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Hippo-sized pumpkin is world's biggest

A massive pumpkin, weighing 1,247 kilograms, claimed the world record for the mightiest gourd this year

A pumpkin named Michael Jordan, grown by Travis Gienger of Anoka, Minn., is displayed before being weighed at the Safeway 50th annual World Championship Pumpkin Weigh-Off in Half Moon Bay, California.(Eric Risberg, AP)

By AFP

LAST PUBLISHED 11.10.2023  |  02:00 PM IST

A monster pumpkin weighing the same as a hippopotamus has claimed the world record for the mightiest gourd—and bagged its grower a $30,000 ( 24 lakhs approx) prize.

Travis Gienger squashed the competition with his enormous fruit weighing in at an improbable 2,749 pounds (1,247 kilograms) at the Half Moon Bay Pumpkin Festival in California on Monday.

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An orange-shirted Gienger punched the air and offered hugs all round after the weigh-in, as Queen's We Are The Champions blasted out, according to video from the event.

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The contest, in its 50th year, pits growers of mega-gourds from all over North America against each other to see who can produce the biggest berry.

Gienger, from Minnesota, pipped his nearest rival by a hefty 250 pounds to walk away with this year's title.

He also bagged a new world record in the process, besting an Italian effort from 2021 which tipped the scales at a relatively svelte 2,703 pounds, organizers said, and claimed the $30,000 ( 24 lakhs approx) in the process.

The grand champion gourd will be on display in Half Moon Bay this weekend when the town hosts its Art and Pumpkin Festival.

The United States is currently in the throes of autumn celebrations with pumpkins of all shapes and sizes available at many stores.

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While some will be carved into ghoulish designs for Halloween at the end of the month, others will be made into pies or consumed as part of dinner.

Pumpkin spice—a blend of cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg and ginger—is almost inescapable at this time of year, flavouring everything from cookies to coffee and even cans of Spam.

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