split image largest jack o lantern

A colossal pumpkin weighing 2,560 pounds (1,161.2 kilograms) was confirmed at the 49th Safeway World Championship Pumpkin Weigh-Off held in Half Moon Bay, California, USA, on 10 October 2022. 

Grown from an 1885.5 Werner mother seed by Travis Gienger (USA), it is the heaviest recorded pumpkin ever grown in North America. 

However, that’s just the beginning of this gigantic gourd’s record-breaking story!

Now recognized as a national record breaker, the pumpkin (nicknamed “Maverick”) continued on a quest to become the world’s heaviest jack o'lantern

After the competition in California, Maverick was transported back to Gienger’s hometown of Anoka, Minnesota, the self-described "Halloween Capital of the World".

On 28 October 2022, at the town's All Hallows Eve celebrations, experienced carver Mike Rudolph (USA) transformed the plain pumpkin into a work of art.

The carving took the shape of a huge eagle with piercing eyes, a large, open beak and feathers. It also featured the creature's talons, which held aloft two USA flags. 

The jack o’lantern also broke the record for the largest jack o'lantern by circumference, with a pre-carved stem-to-blossom circumference of 242 inches (614.7 centimetres).

largest jack o lantern finished carving

Gienger and Rudolph bettered their own record, having carved a jack o'lantern from a 233-in-round (591.8-cm), 2,350-lb (1,065.9-kg) pumpkin grown by Gienger in 2020. That one was tiger themed, as a nod to the topical Netflix series Tiger King.

The heaviest pumpkin ever recorded was a staggering 1,226 kg (2,702 lb 13.9 oz), grown by Stefano Cutrupi (Italy) from Radda in Chianti, Tuscany, Italy.

The pumpkin was assessed and ratified at the Campionato della Zuccone festival held in Peccioli, Italy, on 26 September 2021.