America’s Largest Pumpkin Disqualified for Tiny Crack

by Matthew Memrick

A Wisconsin man going for the title of owning America’s largest pumpkin suffered a tiny crack on the fruit and dropped from the competition recently.

WTMJ reported that Markesan, Wisc. resident Mike Schmit is a longtime grower of the winter squash. But this year, one particular pumpkin grew over 2,500 pounds (his was 2,520). It would have had the U.S. record of 2,528 except for one thing. At some point, a fingernail-sized crack formed, and officials disqualified the man’s pumpkin.

The first-place prize, by the way, was $22,680.

But for Schmit, he seems to have taken the crack all in stride. 

“It happens. There’s no crying in pumpkin growing,” the man told the television station. “I know I can do it again, so we just gotta look forward to the future.”

Markesan is a 1-hour, 35-minute drive from Milwaukee.

Serious Pumpkin Growing

Serious winter squash growers pop up like pumpkins each year as the leaves fall from the tries.

These pumpkin growers spend hours upon hours nurturing their possible money-making gourds with secret methods. Sometimes, they have to thwart both animal and human thieves.

Schmit told the TV station about his care regiment. He grows three pumpkins and it takes 30 hours a week to care for them with water and maintenance. This year, he said all three got cracks in them.

The massive beast, by the way, grew nearly 53 pounds a day and needed 150 gallons of water a day. I can’t even imagine.

Schmit almost maxed out his entry with the U.S. record, coming within eight pounds if it wasn’t for that dang crack. This year, the most giant pumpkin for 2021 was grown in Italy, weighing 2,708 pounds.

There’s no need to contact Schmit and give him a pep talk, however. He’s been growing his gourds since 2006 and has seen it all, kind of.

Schmit told the TV station that he could bring another record-threatening gourd next year and is looking forward to the future. 

A Crack in the Pumpkin

Now, I don’t know how you fix or monitor the crack before it becomes an issue. The pumpkins go through so much as they grow. Of course, there’s the weather and kids wanting to climb it for photos. Oh, and then you’ve got to transport it. I’m sure the man wrapped his entry in a bubble-packing wrap or something as he moved it around.

And if a crack happens, so what? As long as no pumpkin seeds are falling out, let’s just call it good.

Sadly, the pumpkin’s crack indicated internal pressure based on how awkward of a shape it grew. But the rules are the rules.

Schmit could have gone home with thousands in prize moolah. If it could have competed. Interestingly, the annual Safeway World Championship Pumpkin Weigh-Off gives an award of $9-per-pound to the winner.