Minnesota grower Travis Gienger squashes his rivals with massive 2,749-pound (1,247kg) gourd.
A monster pumpkin weighing the same as a hippopotamus has been named the world’s heaviest.
Travis Gienger squashed the competition to take home the $30,000 top prize at the 50th World Championship Pumpkin Weigh-Off at Half Moon Bay in California with his 2,749 pound (1,247 kilogramme) gourd.
An orange-shirted Gienger punched the air and offered hugs all round after the weigh-in.
“I was not expecting that. It was quite the feeling,” said the 43-year-old landscape and horticulture teacher, who has been growing pumpkins for nearly 30 years and last year set a new United States record.
The California contest pits growers of mega-gourds from all over North America against each other.
Gienger, from Minnesota, pipped his nearest rival by a hefty 250 pounds to win the title.
Gienger grows his gourds in a pumpkin patch in his back yard. He said this year he decided to give his plants extra care, watering them up to 12 times a day and feeding and fertilising them a bit more than usual.
The champion gourd will be on display in Half Moon Bay this weekend when the town hosts its Art and Pumpkin Festival.
The US is currently in the throes of autumn celebrations with pumpkins of all shapes and sizes available at many stores.
While some will be carved into ghoulish designs for Halloween on October 31, others will be made into pies or eaten as a side dish at dinner.
Gienger’s pumpkin would be enough to produce at least 687 pies.
The previous world record for heaviest pumpkin was set by a grower in Italy who produced a 2,702-pound (1,226kg) squash in 2021, according to Guinness World Records.