Man Wins ‘Super Bowl Of Pumpkins’ With 2,350-Pound Beast Called The Tiger King

by : Emily Brown on : 15 Oct 2020 08:53

While most people are only concerned about whether they’ll be able to carve a good face into their pumpkin, a Minnesota man dedicated weeks to cultivating his into a 2,350-pound beast. 

Travis Gienger was awarded first prize this week for his giant squash at the 47th annual Safeway World Championship Pumpkin Weigh-Off in Half Moon, California; a contest dubbed the ‘Super Bowl of Pumpkins’.


Every Columbus Day, pumpkin growers from across the United States travel to the contest to present the results of their hard work with the promise of winning $7 per pound if their pumpkin proves to be the heaviest.

Gienger entered the competition for the first time this year and went to great lengths to make sure no harm came to his pumpkin on the 35-hour drive from Minnesota. He built a special palette for his trailer and protected the precious pumpkin with blankets and pool noodles to keep it from getting scratched.

The determined man also threw dirt in the back of the palette to ensure he could keep the vines watered and keep the pumpkin as heavy as possible.


Speaking to CNN about his efforts, Gienger said:

People were wondering what we were hauling when we stopped at the gas station and we had to throw buckets of water on it. It was kind of funny.

Man wins pumpkin growing contest with giant pumpkinMan wins pumpkin growing contest with giant pumpkinSafeway World Championship Pumpkin Weigh-Off/Facebook

After successfully making it to Half Moon, Gienger presented his pumpkin to be weighed, with the scales revealing it came in at 2,350lb.


The grower was congratulated online, where he was dubbed the ‘2020 Pumpkin King of Half Moon Bay’. Contest officials said the massive squash was the heaviest grown pumpkin to be weighed in North America this year.

Gienger took home $16,450 in prize money thanks to the ‘pay by the pound’ system, and after working all season to grow his pumpkin Gienger said the win was ‘quite a joy’.

An emerging young superstar may be breaking through at tomorrow’s Safeway World Championship Pumpkin Weigh-Off. Travis…

Geplaatst door Safeway World Championship Pumpkin Weigh-Off op Zondag 11 oktober 2020

He named his pumpkin ‘The Tiger King’ in honour of Netflix’s documentary of the same name because he noticed stripes in its colouring.


The pumpkin champ explained:

It was kind of funny deciding the name for this little, little pumpkin at the time.

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!

The contest offered a $30,000 mega prize for anyone who was able to break the world record of 2,624 pounds with their pumpkin, but no one managed to defeat it this year.


In spite of his win, Gienger is undecided as to whether he will enter the contest again next year. Still, The Tiger King did him proud!

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Emily Brown

Emily Brown first began delivering important news stories aged just 13, when she launched her career with a paper round. She graduated with a BA Hons in English Language in the Media from Lancaster University, and went on to become a freelance writer and blogger. Emily contributed to The Sunday Times Travel Magazine and Student Problems before becoming a journalist at UNILAD, where she works on breaking news as well as longer form features.

Topics: Life, California, Minnesota, Now, Tiger King


Safeway World Championship Pumpkin Weigh-Off/Facebook and 1 other
  1. Safeway World Championship Pumpkin Weigh-Off/Facebook


  2. CNN

    Minnesota man wins the 'Super Bowl of Pumpkins' with 2,350-pound pumpkin named The Tiger King