Winner named at giant pumpkin annual weigh-off in California

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Cindy Tobeck sits atop her pumpkin after winning the Safeway World Championship Pumpkin Weigh-Off at Half Moon Bay, Calif.

Cindy Tobeck sits atop her pumpkin after winning the Safeway World Championship Pumpkin Weigh-Off at Half Moon Bay, Calif. (Photo: Gary Reyes)

HALF MOON BAY, Calif. (AP) — An annual pumpkin-weighing contest in Northern California has a new winner: a third-grade teacher in Washington state who raised a giant one weighing 1,910 pounds.

Cindy Tobeck, 42, who lives outside Olympia, Washington, said her pumpkin grew steadily since she planted it in April, spending much of that time in a greenhouse with heated soil. She said the secret to growing giant pumpkins is using the right seed.

Jim Sherwood's pumpkin is measured during the Safeway World Championship Pumpkin Weigh-Off at Half Moon Bay, Calif.

Jim Sherwood's pumpkin is measured during the Safeway World Championship Pumpkin Weigh-Off at Half Moon Bay, Calif.

Jim Sherwood's pumpkin is measured during the Safeway World Championship Pumpkin Weigh-Off at Half Moon Bay, Calif.
Jim Sherwood's pumpkin is measured during the Safeway World Championship Pumpkin Weigh-Off at Half Moon Bay, Calif.

"I am just over the moon elated right now," she said. "It was just a real steady grower. It wasn't an explosive grower... it kept growing well into the summer when a lot of pumpkins slow down."

Hers came from a 2,230-pound pumpkin that won a different contest last year.

Tobeck beat out more than two dozen other pumpkins from Oregon, Washington and California, said Timothy Beeman, a spokesman for the Safeway World Championship Pumpkin Weigh-Off in Half Moon Bay. The runner-up weighed 1,723 pounds. Tobeck was shy of the contest record by about 150 pounds.

At $6 a pound, Tobeck will receive nearly $11,500 in prize money

Last year, Oregon farmer Steve Daletas won the 42nd Half Moon Bay pumpkin weigh-off, when his pumpkin came in at 1,969 pounds.

On Sunday, the Giant Pumpkin European Championship was held in Ludwigsburg, Germany, and a pumpkin weighing about 2,623 pounds took home the award for the heaviest. If anyone would have broken that record they would have received a special $30,000 mega prize.

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