Travis Gienger of Minnesota poses with his 2,560 gourd at the annual Safeway World Championship Pumpkin Weigh-Off in Half Moon Bay, Calif. on Oct. 10, 2022. (Safeway World Championship Pumpkin Weigh-Off via Bay City News)

A Minnesota grower squashed a national record for growing the largest pumpkin at the “Super Bowl of Weigh-Offs,” otherwise known as the annual Safeway World Championship Pumpkin Weigh-Off in Half Moon Bay.

Travis Gienger’s Rhino Gourd weighed in at a staggering 2,560 pounds on Monday, beating the North American record set just last week in a pumpkin weigh-off in Clarence, New York.

With the first-place prize set at a whopping $9 per pound, the massive gourd raked in $23,040 for Gienger, who hails from Anoka, Minnesota.

“To create a new North American largest pumpkin is just incredible,” Gienger said shortly after his announced win. “This is really special, to be able to grow a pumpkin that can break records.”

Since April, Gienger grew the pumpkin from a seed from the current world’s heaviest pumpkin, a 2,702-pound gourd grown in Italy in 2021.

Though his eye was set for the coveted international record, Gienger already has a world record under his belt — in 2020, he earned a Guinness World Record for carving a jack-o’-lantern from his 2,350-pound pumpkin, which also won the Half Moon Bay competition and broke national records.

Travis Gienger of Minnesota poses with his championship pumpkin at 2020’s Safeway World Championship Pumpkin Weigh-off competition in Half Moon Bay. Gienger’s 2,350-pound gourd was the second largest ever weighed at the contest. (Photo courtesy of Safeway World Championship Pumpkin Weigh-off/Facebook)


He found a knack for gigantic pumpkins after growing a 447-pound gourd at just 14 years old, and has since grown them for 28 years.

“I want to thank all the growers, because the bar keeps getting raised and that wouldn’t happen without the work they do,” Gienger said, adding a shoutout to the event staff for hosting the competition.

Alongside Gienger, the top 20 pumpkin entries earned their share of thousands of dollars in prize money for titles like the most beautiful pumpkin, the biggest California pumpkin and the biggest Coastside pumpkin.


The gourd-themed festivities don’t end there, however — the event’s sister celebration, the Half Moon Bay Art & Pumpkin Festival, is also returning on Oct. 15 and 16 for its 50th anniversary, after a two-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The festival takes place on Half Moon Bay’s Main Street.

The Great Pumpkin Parade will kick off at Saturday at noon, featuring Gienger and his winning pumpkin. Pie eating contests, pumpkin carving, art vendors and a plethora of live performers are just a slice of the offerings the festival has to offer.

More information on the event can be found at https://pumpkinfest.miramarevents.com/.