MINNESOTA. — A massive pumpkin named Michael Jordan has squashed the world record for the heaviest gourd and earned its grower a neat US$30 000 (£24,500) in prize money.

Minnesota horticulture teacher Travis Gienger’s 2,749lb (1,247kg) pumpkin beat the previous record by 47lb.

“It was quite the feeling,” said Mr Gienger at the World Championship Pumpkin Weigh-Off in California,

He put his fruit’s gigantic size down to extra care and 12 waterings a day.

Mr Gienger planted Michael Jordan in Minnesota on April 10 and spent about $15,000 on the pumpkin’s care and feeding, according to website sfgate.com.

He drove it to California last week for the competition.

The 43-year-old has been growing pumpkins since he was a teenager and has won the championship three times.

It started in 1974 as a fun, light-hearted contest between Circleville, Ohio, and Half Moon Bay, California – two cities proclaiming to be the pumpkin capital of the world.

Organisers say it has now grown into the Super Bowl of pumpkin weigh-off competitions worldwide.

The sizeable squash that won this year’s contest is named after “the greatest basketball player of all time and is now the greatest pumpkin of all time,” he said.

Mr Gienger also noted that it started life resembling a basketball and that Jordan wore a 23 jersey to match the year 2023.

“I put in the work so that I can put a smile on people’s faces,” Mr Gienger told the Associated Press.  — AFP.

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