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Missouri man breaks his own state record twice with massive pumpkins

Bottorf said during peak growing season, a record pumpkin can gain up to 40 pounds every day.
Credit: Richard Bottorf

REPUBLIC, Mo. — A Republic, Missouri, man will have the two biggest jack-o'-lanterns in Missouri history this Halloween after breaking his own record twice in one day.

Richard Bottorf has broken the Missouri state pumpkin record six times starting with his first competitive pumpkin back in 2005, but he has never had a day like he had on Oct. 5.

At the Republic Pumpkin Daze festival, Bottorf brought what he would find out was nearly two tons of pumpkin.

First on the industrial scale was the smaller of the gourds. After using a forklift to place the pumpkin, it tipped the scales at 1,677, topping his own state record by more than 100 pounds.

That pumpkin's reign as the record-holder only lasted a few minutes. When the second pumpkin hit the scale, it blew the first one out of the water, weighing in at 1,798.

In addition to its tremendous weight, the pumpkin also measured nearly 16 feet around.

Bottorf said during peak growing season, a record pumpkin can gain up to 40 pounds every day. He said breaking the state record once is hard enough, but twice was amazing.

"By using great seed genetics and the help of mother nature I was able to pull the feat off in 2019," he said.

He already carved the smaller of the pumpkins into a jack-o'-lantern, but the record pumpkin will be going on a victory tour. It will take a tour of local schools before being carved into a jack-o'-lantern for the trunk-or-treat event at Hope Lutheran Church in Republic, Missouri, on Halloween.

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