October 4, 2009

Half-ton pumpkin wins N.Y. competition

A Pennsylvania man whose 1,040.5-pound pumpkin won the Great Pumpkin Weigh-Off in Clarence, N.Y., says lots of water is the key to his success.

Mike Matto, of Bradford, Pa., came out on top of the 27th annual World Pumpkin Confederation competition at the Clarence Fall Festival, defeating his nearest pumpkin rivals by 75 pounds, The Buffalo (N.Y.) News said Sunday.

Despite its winning weight, Matto's pumpkin fell short of the 1,075-pound pumpkin that earned Clarence resident Karl Haist a Weigh-Off title in 2008.

World Pumpkin Confederation founder Ray Waterman said while some pumpkins in the annual competition may eventually reach 2,000 pounds, this year's entries were impacted by a summer filled with an overabundance of rainy weather.

It's been a tough year, Waterman told the Buffalo News Pumpkins need heat and sun.