Illinois Man Grows the Largest Pumpkin in North America

Kirstin Fawcett
YouTube / YouTube

America reached peak pumpkin last week, thanks to Gene McMullen. The Midwestern factory worker’s homegrown gourd won the top award at the Wine and Harvest Festival in Cedarburg, Wisconsin. However, McMullen's entry wasn’t your typical prize-winning farm fare. Weighing in at a whopping 2145.5 pounds, the bumper crop was officially named North America’s largest pumpkin.

What’s the secret behind McMullen’s success? Fertilizer? Extra water? Lots of sunlight?

“Dumb luck! Accident waiting for it to happen—it happened. I didn’t do anything different than other growers do,” he told Fox6 News in Milwaukee. However, the winning pumpkin McMullen entered last fall (weighing in at 1692.5 pounds) suggests he might possess more of a green thumb than he lets on.

McMullen’s latest pumpkin isn’t the largest in the world. Last year, that honor was given to a 2323-pound pumpkin from Switzerland. Nevertheless, it’s still big enough to provide enough Thanksgiving pies for the entire town of Streator, Illinois, where McMullen grew his record-breaking bounty, or to be carved into one of the most awe-inspiring jack-o'-lanterns the country’s ever seen.

Watch this video from the Associated Press to see the giant pumpkin in full.

[h/t Fox6 News, Associated Press]