Giant pumpkin or flying saucer? In this Saturday, Oct. 3, 2015, photo, staff members ready to weigh the grand prize winning pumpkin at the Elk Grove Giant Pumpkin Festival in Elk Grove, Calif. This year's pumpkin grown by Tim Mathison, of Napa, Calif., wasn’t big and round, but wide and flat, leading judges to nickname it “The Flying Saucer.” (Sammy Caiola/Sacramento Bee via AP)
Giant pumpkin or flying saucer?
Lexile

A farmer won a Northern California pumpkin contest. He grew a record-setting 1,806-pound pumpkin. The judges nicknamed it "The Flying Saucer." That was because it had a wide and flat shape.
 
Tim Mathison hauled his pumpkin to the annual weigh-in. He was one of about 50 big-pumpkin farmers to attend the event. The weigh-in was at the Elk Grove Giant Pumpkin & Harvest Festival.
 
Most of the pumpkins entered in the Oct. 3 contest were grown in about 90 days. Some grew as fast as 30 pounds per day, said Brian Myers. He is chairman of the California Pumpkin Growers Association. 

There were about half as many pumpkins entered this year than in prior years. That was largely due to what farmers said were overly hot growing conditions.
 
According to the Sacramento Bee newspaper, Mathison won $12,000 in prize money. He said the most important part of the event was sharing it with his 28-year-old daughter. Her name is Tara. She uses a wheelchair. Tara has a neurodevelopmental disorder. It is called Rett syndrome. She was with him almost every night as he took care of his patch, he said.
 
He bought the seed that he used to grow the pumpkin from the Make-a-Wish Foundation. It is a charity. They arrange fun events for children with life-threatening conditions.
 
"She knows what it is all about," he said. "It makes her really happy."
 
The winning pumpkin beat last year's monster pumpkin. That one weighed in at 1,584 pounds. No one came close to beating the national record for heaviest pumpkin. That record is 2,154 pounds.

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CRITICAL THINKING QUESTION
How did Tim Mathison benefit, in addition to the prize money?
Write your answers in the comments section below


COMMENTS (94)
  • gavint-bou
    10/12/2015 - 08:05 a.m.

    iv never saw a pumkin so big

    • trynittir-wil
      10/14/2015 - 03:10 p.m.

      me either!!!

  • caleb-hym
    10/13/2015 - 02:20 p.m.

    Tim Mathison got the benefit of the prize because he was glad to shareing the pumkin with pepole.

  • zane-hym
    10/13/2015 - 02:30 p.m.

    Tim Mathison won the prize money because he was the best farmer and he took go kaer of hes copes.

  • hunterm-ver
    10/13/2015 - 06:19 p.m.

    The "Flying Saucer" pumpkin must be humongous! I think it's even more amazing that the national record is over one ton. I wonder what the world record is.

  • tylerm2-wil
    10/14/2015 - 08:51 a.m.

    i think he did something to make it grow faster.

  • davionh-wil
    10/14/2015 - 08:51 a.m.

    i want to now if they make more

  • anthonyr16-wil
    10/14/2015 - 08:52 a.m.

    the intersting thing is that the pumpkin grew 1806 pounds and got 12,000 for it

  • tristand-wil
    10/14/2015 - 08:52 a.m.

    Wow nice pumpkin must of took lots of work to grow.Hope fully no one smashes it.

  • zanderk1-wil
    10/14/2015 - 08:52 a.m.

    They should hire a professional pumpkin carver to carve the winners face on it.

  • emmam1-wil
    10/14/2015 - 08:53 a.m.

    It was interesting!!

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