The top four "most beautiful pumpkins" are raised on forklifts at the Half Moon Bay 36th Annual Safeway World Championship Pumpkin Weigh-off in Half Moon Bay, Callif., Monday. The pumpkin second from the left won the contest. (AP Photo/Russel A. Daniels)
There was an added twist to this year's Half Moon Bay World Pumpkin Weigh-Off. This year the winner was promised a $5,000 richer than in previous years.
The annual contest, which has pitted gigantic pumpkin growers against each other for 37 years, threw in a cash bonus only if a pumpkin grower was able to shatter the world record.
Ron Root did just that. The Citrus Heights man won the grand prize and more than $9,210 in total winnings for submitting a 1,535 pound pumpkin. The winner gets a minimum of $6 a pound for his or her entry.
Second place went to Brand Bordsen, whose pumpkin weighed in at 1,476 pounds. A man from Napa won third place with a 1,401 pound entry.
Last year's winner weighed-in at 1,658 pounds and was hauled in all the way from Des Moines, Iowa.
But this year's competition was not all about brawn. The beauty of pumpkins was also rewarded.