The contest praised Gienger in a social media post giving him the title of 2020 Pumpkin King of Half Moon Bay.
According to competition officials, the huge gourd set a record as the heaviest pumpkin to be weighed in North America this year.
Gienger named his winning pumpkin after the popular Netflix series “Tiger King” when he noticed it might have a striped coloring.
“It was pretty funny deciding the name of this little, little pumpkin back then,” he says. “I noticed it could be orange with white stripes and my brother is like, ‘Oh, it’s 2020. We should call him Tiger King.’ And I thought it was awesome! ”
The name was popular during the competition with many cheers from The Tiger King to victory.
Gienger says he took extreme measures to keep the giant pumpkin intact while transporting it on a 35-hour drive from Minnesota to Half Moon Bay, including building a special pallet for its trailer, wrapping the pumpkin in blankets and pool noodles to keep it from getting done. scratched, and throwing dirt down the back to keep the vines watered so they don’t lose as much weight.
“People were wondering what we were carrying when we pulled up to the gas station and had to throw buckets of water on it. It was pretty funny, ”he said.
This was his first year competing at Half Moon – although he’s nothing new to growing giant pumpkins. About 25 years ago he grew a 447 lbs. He decided to compete at Half Moon this year because it’s known as the “Super Bowl of Pumpkins,” he told CNN.
The competition offered a special mega-prize of $ 30,000 this year to any grower who broke the world record of 2,624 pounds set in a weigh-in in Germany in 2016. No one at the Half Moon Bay competition broke the world record this year, according to officials contest.
On every Columbus Day since 1974, growers have gathered in Half Moon Bay from across the country to compete for the title and cash prize at the pumpkin weigh-in, according to the competition’s website.
Gienger told CNN he felt honored to win.
He had worked all season in preparation for the competition, so the moment of victory was “a real joy,” he said. He’s not sure if he will join the competition next year to beat his new record.