Giant pumpkin or flying saucer?
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: 1290L

Assign to Google Classroom

A farmer won a Northern California contest with a record-setting 1,806-pound pumpkin that judges nicknamed "The Flying Saucer" because of its wide and flat shape.
Tim Mathison was one of about 50 big-pumpkin farmers to haul their heaviest crops to the annual weigh-in at the Elk Grove Giant Pumpkin & Harvest Festival.
Most of the pumpkins entered in the Oct. 3 contest were grown in about 90 days, sometimes growing as fast as 30 pounds per day, said Brian Myers, chairman of the California Pumpkin Growers Association. There were about half as many pumpkins entered this year than in previous years, largely due to what farmers said were overly hot and suboptimal growing conditions.
According to the Sacramento Bee newspaper, Mathison collected $12,000 in prize money but he says the most important part of the event was sharing it with his 28-year-old daughter Tara, who uses a wheelchair and has a neurodevelopmental disorder called Rett syndrome. She was with him almost every night as he tended to his patch, he said.
He purchased the unique seed from which he grew the pumpkin from the Make-a-Wish Foundation, a charity that arranges joyful experiences for children with life-threatening conditions.
"She knows what it's all about," he said. "It makes her really happy."
The winning pumpkin beat last year's monster pumpkin, which weighed in at 1,584 pounds. But no one came close to beating the national record for heaviest pumpkin, 2,154 pounds.

Source URL:

Filed Under:  
Assigned 38 times
How did Tim Mathison benefit, in addition to the prize money?
Write your answers in the comments section below

  • druzhynska,khrystyna-cas
    10/20/2015 - 04:52 p.m.

    1. Besides winning the prize money, Tim Mathison benefited by sharing the money with his 28-year-old daughter Tara, who uses a wheelchair and has Rett syndrome. I imagine Tara was very happy of her father and Tim enjoyed seeing her happy.
    2. I've never seen a wide and flat shaped pumpkin. I wonder what they did with the 50 huge pumpkins after the festival was over. Growing pumpkins seems like an exciting job. Farmers now have to work hard to beat the national record of 2,154 pounds for one pumpkin.

  • torib-ofs
    10/21/2015 - 03:56 p.m.

    That's a big pumpkin i kinda think that it dumb though because you can do anything you ever could think of with make-a-wish foundation stuff and this girl used it on a pumpkin seed but what ever i guess because its still kinda cool that the pumpkin was so big.

  • ameliat-Orv
    10/26/2015 - 03:04 p.m.

    Congrats to the farmer, but I can't stop thinking about how many chemicals were pumped into that pumpkin. Anyone could grow a pumpkin that big with the right chemicals

  • amys1-joh
    10/27/2015 - 06:36 p.m.

    The article gave a lot of information,it is pretty informational cool and that was an heavy pumpkin.

Take the Quiz Leave a comment