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 contest with a record-setting 1,806-pound pumpkin. The judges nicknamed it "The Flying Saucer." That was 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. 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 previous years. That was largely due to what farmers said were overly hot and poor growing conditions.
 
According to the Sacramento Bee newspaper, Mathison collected $12,000 in prize money. But he said the most important part of the event was sharing it with his 28-year-old daughter, Tara. She 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 that he used to grow the pumpkin from the Make-a-Wish Foundation. It is a charity that arranges joyful experiences 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. But no one came close to beating the national record for heaviest pumpkin. It weighed 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 (339)
  • jennaw-1-bar
    10/09/2015 - 09:54 p.m.

    Tim Mathison benefited in not only money but the happiness of his daughter and the feeling of his daughters help. The most surprising thing was that it only took 90 days to grow.

    • jesusp-ali
      12/02/2015 - 11:49 a.m.

      That is really surprising that the pumpkin could grow that huge and flat in 90 days.^_^
      !

  • natalier-4-bar
    10/09/2015 - 10:31 p.m.

    In addition to the prize money, Tim Mathison benefited from winning the largest pumpkin contest because according to paragraph four Mathison said that the most important part of the contest was sharing it with his twenty-eight year old daughter Tara. "She uses a wheelchair and has a neurodevelopmental disorder called Rett syndrome. She was with him almost every night as he tended to his patch." Mathison benefited because he got to share his prize money and the joy of the event with his daughter.

    Opinion: I really enjoyed this article because it wasn't so much about the pumpkin contest it's self but, the fact that the winner, Tim Mathison just wanted to spend the day with his daughter and make her proud.

  • dimyam-day
    10/09/2015 - 11:34 p.m.

    I can't say I have ever heard of or seen a pumpkin this big but it's pretty cool. I don't know what I would do if I started a pumpkin patch and a pumpkin got that big, I would probably make a lot of pumpkin pie. All of that aside I love how he used the money towards his daughter I thought it was so touching. All in all I like this article from the insane size of the pumpkin to the touching details of his daughter.

  • batiar-3-bar
    10/09/2015 - 11:50 p.m.

    I found this article to be very cool and interesting. Tim Mathieson benefitted from winning not only because of the prize money, but what he is using it for. His daughter, Tara, has a condition known as Rett Syndrome, and uses a wheelchair. He says he excited to share it with her because she was with him nearly every night the pumpkin grew. I feel this article has no information given for knowledge but is more for entertainment, but all around I enjoyed it.

  • mikolajs-day
    10/10/2015 - 01:01 p.m.

    Mathison had two benefits due to the pumpkin contest. His first benefit was the prize money and his second was spending time with his daughter. It makes her happy when they grow the pumpkin and enter the contest. This is why he continues to grow large pumpkins every year.

  • jason-ven
    10/10/2015 - 04:25 p.m.

    Wow! I never knew pumpkins could weigh up to 1,000 pounds. It was nice for the farmer to share the day with his daughter.

  • judea-buh
    10/10/2015 - 07:03 p.m.

    The person who won the competition for the heaviest pumpkin must be really proud of himself for winning. I know I would. I like this story because it is about a man who won a pumpkin competition and helped out his 28-year old daughter with the proceeds. His daughter has a rare disorder called Rett Syndrome. I think that is really thoughtful of him.

  • angelinaf-ver
    10/11/2015 - 12:48 p.m.

    I thought this article was funny and cool. I thought it cool but surprising how much the pumpkin weighed. I thought it was funny they named the pumpkin "The Flying Saucer".

  • taylorh-4-bar
    10/11/2015 - 06:05 p.m.

    Tim Mathison benefited in addition to the prize money because he got to help his 28 year-old daughter. I found this article interesting because pumpkins are not supposed to be that big but this one and many others were.

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