Forget football, pumpkin growing is the sport of choice for these contestants. A Minnesota man took home the championship for the 47th annual Safeway World Championship Pumpkin Weigh-Off. Travis Gienger grew a 2,350-pound pumpkin dubbed the Tiger King.
Organizers held the contest in Half Moon, California. The contest started in 1974. Since then, they’ve held the contest every year on On each Columbus Day since 1974, growers gather in Half Moon Bay from around the country to compete for the title and cash prize in the weigh-off, according to the contest website.
For his prize, Gienger received $7 for every pound. In total, he won $16,450 and a record as the heaviest pumpkin in the U.S. this year. Contest officials celebrated Gienger’s victory in a Facebook post.
They wrote, “The Tiger King and proud papa Travis Gienger, this year’s Pumpkin King of Half Moon Bay!”
The Contestant Named the Pumpkin After Netflix’s ‘Tiger King’
The popular Netflix show Tiger King inspired the pumpkin’s name. Gienger named it after the show because of its striped coloring, resembling a tiger.
“It was kind of funny deciding the name for this little, little pumpkin at the time,” Gienger told CNN. “I noticed that it might be orange with white stripes and my brother goes, ‘Oh it’s 2020. We should name him Tiger King.’ And I thought that’s great!”
Gienger said he has a passion for growing giant pumpkins. For instance, he grew one up to 447-pounds about 25 years ago. But it was his first time entering the competition, which he joined because he wanted compete in the “Super Bowl of Pumpkins.”
While Gienger’s pumpkin is massive, it’s actually not the largest ever recorded. That honor belongs to one at a weigh-off in Germany. That pumpkin set the world record in 2016, weighing 2,624 pounds. The competition offered a $30,000 prize for anyone to beat the record, but Gienger fell short of the goal.
Currently, Geinger told CNN he’s undecided whether he will enter the contest next year.