Giant Gourd from Minnesota Breaks Record for Heaviest Pumpkin in US

Oct 14, 2022

Just in time for spooky season, Travis Gienger of Minnesota broke the record for heaviest pumpkin ever grown in the US. The gargantuan gourd weighed 2,560 pounds! Its record-breaking status was confirmed at the World Championship Pumpkin Weigh-Off in California. 

Gienger calls his pumpkin Maverick. He drove it 35 hours to enter the contest. "I always tell people back home, this is like the Super Bowl of pumpkins," he told ABC7 News of San Francisco. Maverick and other entries had to be hoisted by forklift for weighing.

This is only Gienger’s second time entering the yearly competition. He won last year, too. His 2022 prize? $9 per pound of pumpkin. That added up to $23,040!

"This size, I've been hitting it with fertilizer 14 times a day, watering quite a bit,” Gienger said. “But I had a really big plant too, most people don't understand this was like a 2,000-square-foot plant that was just a monster." 

When Maverick was crowned, the US record for heaviest pumpkin had actually just been broken the week before. Scott Andrusz of upstate New York’s Great Pumpkin Farm grew a 2,554-pound pumpkin — just 6 pounds lighter than Gienger’s. It had a short-lived national champion status, though. The previous national record had been 2,528 pounds. 

The world record, however, has so far remained untouched. Stefano Cutrupi of Italy currently holds that title for his pumpkin. It weighed in at 2,703 pounds last year.

Maverick and the next three heaviest pumpkins will be on display at the Half Moon Bay Art & Pumpkin Festival in California this weekend. 

Photo from the World Championship Pumpkin Weigh-Off in Half Moon Bay, California.

The author uses _______ to create more interesting and vivid descriptions in the first paragraph of the story. (Common Core RI.5.4; RI.6.4)
a. figurative language
b. point of view
c. quotations
d. text structure
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