Breaking News!
Monday, October 8, 2012

The winner of the 2012
Half Moon Bay World Championship Pumpkin Weigh-Off is...

Thad Starr of Pleasant Hill, Oregon
with a 1,775 pound monster pumpkin!

Prize Money: $10,650

Thad's pumpkin also set a new California state record!


Thad and his family...Wife Katrina, and kids Derrek and Danica.   Danica was the one who actually selected the exact seed
that produced this winning pumpkin!

So how is the family going to celebrate the big win?
By going to Disneyland!

The winning pumpkin as it arrived at Half Moon Bay
6:30am Monday Morning...

Here's how the pumpkins finished:

1. Thad Starr 1,775 pounds
Pleasant Hill, Oregon  He wins $10,650 plus another $1,000 for setting a new California state record.

2. Steve Daletas  1,521 pounds
Pleasant Hill, Oregon  He wins $2,000

3. John Hawkley  1,480
Napa, California     He wins $1,500

4. Russ Pugh  1,446
Santa Rosa, California  He wins $1,000

5.  Robert Globus  1,442
Walnut Grove, California  He wins $500

6.  Tim Mathison  1,439
Napa, California  He wins $500

The top five heaviest pumpkins will be on display during the Half Moon Bay Pumpkin Festival on October 13-14, 2012 9am-5pm.

The winning pumpkin will be featured in the Pumpkin Festival Parade on Saturday that features former Super Bowl MVP and
49er Quarterback, Steve Young as the Grand Marshall.

So far this pumpkin season Ron Wallace of Greene, R.I.,has grown the largest pumpkin in the U.S. tipping the scales at 2,009 pounds, winning him $5,500 for first place and another $10,000 as a bonus for breaking the one-ton mark.

Did you know....

The first weigh-off in Half Moon Bay was in 1974 and the winning pumpkin weighed 132 pounds.

Seeds from the giant pumpkins are about the size of a peach pit!

Giant pumpkins can gain as much as 35-40 pounds a day

Once they're cut cut from the vine, big pumpkins loose an average of 6-8 pounds a day

3,500 tons of pumpkins are grown every year in the Half Moon Bay area.   The pumpkins are shipped all over the country.

A pumpkin is a member of the squash and cucumber family.

Antarctica is the only continent that pumpkins won't grow.

Pumpkins are 90% water.

California ranks #2 in the nation in pumpkins.  Illinois is #1.

46% of American adults carve a pumpkin for Halloween

The average pumpkin contains 500 seeds.

Number of people with the last name of "Pumpkin" listed in  20

So what do the growers do with their pumpkins
after the weigh-off?

Many farmers make extra money by selling or renting their giant pumpkins to display at private parties, hotels or Halloween festivals. 

The top championship pumpkins often get big media attention with the top three biggest getting flown to New York with the grower getting $10,000 for the exclusive.

Some of the bigger pumpkins are sold, sliced in half, hollowed out and transformed into paddle boats for holiday race events. 

Selling the giant pumpkin seeds is also a good way the growers make money.   The record for a single seed sold at auction has been in the neighborhood of $1,000, although that's more the exception than the rule.

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