Pumpkin Weighs In at 1,985 Pounds to Win Half Moon Bay Contest

Giant Napa Valley gourd falls short of world record

Gary Miller of Napa thought the pumpkin he brought to the 40th annual World Championship Pumpkin Weigh-Off in Half Moon Bay might weigh 1,900 pounds.

Turns out it weighed even more.

Miller's pumpkin came in at 1,985 pounds to win the Safeway World Championship Pumpkin Weigh-Off. He will take home $25,000.

What's Miller's secret?

"If I told you, it wouldn't be a secret," joked the farmer from Napa, Calif.

Growers like Miller had hoped to beat the new world record set Saturday by Tim Mathison of Napa, whose 2,032-pound pumpkin broke last year's world record of 2,009 pounds at the 23rd annual Giant Pumpkin Weigh-Off, hosted by Uesugi Farms of Morgan Hill. Mathison entered in this year's Half Moon Bay contest, too, and he had hoped to set another record.

"Wishful thinking, but yeah, that would be cool," said Mathison before the weigh-in.

Russ Pingrey was there too with his hulking orange pumpkin – which he estimated to weigh about 1,500 to 1,600 pounds. Even though his gourd tipped the scales, it wasn't heavy enough for him to bring home some prize money. Still, he credits good pumpkin genetics and great weather in Santa Rosa as two key factors in the success of his green (or orange, in this case) thumb.

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