The 50th Annual Pumpkin World Championship has a surprising connection to the Chicago Bulls. The winning pumpkin, named after Bulls great Michael Jordan, weighed 2,739 pounds, setting the record for the heaviest pumpkin ever.
Half Moon Bay, Calif., has hosted the event for decades, and Travis Gienger has been its top competitor for nearly 30 years. Last year, his pumpkin “Maverick” set a tournament record of 2,560 pounds. Ginger returned with an even bigger gourd this year, taking home the top prize with his pumpkin “Michael Jordan” and setting a world record in the process.
Gienger usually chooses his nickname based on the year of the game. In 2023, he chose to pay tribute to Jordan, whose No. 23 jersey is an icon in the sports world.
“It’s a really cool niche,” Gienger said. “It’s a global field.” In fact, the previous record was held by the Italian pumpkin, which weighed 2,703 pounds in 2021.
Gienger has earned a bit of a reputation in the pumpkin growing community. He already holds the record for the largest jack-o’-lantern, and once it’s official, they should have the record for the heaviest pumpkin thanks to Michael Jordan.
“It just puts a smile on people’s faces,” Ginger said.
Story originally appeared on Lonzo Wire