A giant pumpkin will be disqualified from a competition at the Alaska State Fair in Palmer due to a hole in the more than 1,000 pound pumpkin, according to reports this week.
J.D. Megchelsen from Nikiski was hoping his pumpkin this year would beat his old record of 1,287 pounds set in 2011. However, earlier this week when the giant pumpkin was lifted onto a truck with a sling and rigging, it was revealed that it had a thumb-size hole.
The relatively small hole, however, is a major disappointment for Megchelsen, as it means the pumpkin is ineligible for the competition.
Megchelsen told the Peninsula Clarion, "It's not going to count. It's a bummer, but it's the rules."
According to competition rules, pumpkins need to be free from rot, chemical residue and serious soft spots. They also are not allowed to have any holes or cracks of any size that reach the pumpkin cavity.
Megchelsen was sure that his massive pumpkin was going to be a record breaker, and indeed when it was weighed it turned out that it weighed in at 1,500 pounds – well in excess of the previous record. But unfortunately it will not count.
Pam Elkins, Megchelsen's sister-in-law has said, "It's just killing him. He eats, sleeps and dreams pumpkins. All he does is pumpkins."
Megchelsen is an expert pumpkin grower; he began seeking to break the record in 2002, and by 2004 he already had broken the record with a 700 pound pumpkin. However, that was just the start, and in 2005 he broke his own record with a 942 pound pumpkin. In 2006 he broke the 1000 pound mark, and the current record of 1,287 pounds was set in 2011.
Megchelsen has said that he believes the hole in his new pumpkin probably emerged because it grew too fast, likely during the height of its growth spurt in early August.