COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - A huge pumpkin grown in Columbia came in sixth place in a giant pumpkin competition at the North Carolina State Fair.
Eric Nichols grew the massive pumpkin all summer long in the backyard of his neighbor's home in Earlewood. Nichols wasn't sure how much it weighed before he took it to North Carolina Tuesday.
It weighed 694.5 pounds, which placed sixth in the competition. The winning pumpkin, grown by Stephen Wright of Virginia, weighed 808.5 pounds.
Nichols and his friends designed a contraption to load the pumpkin onto a truck to transport to the North Carolina State Fair. They left early Tuesday morning.
"I had decided to do a garden a few years ago, just out of boredom," Nichols said. "And it saves you a lot of money. And I started growing pumpkins. Well, they weren't doing so well so I started doing some research, you know, how to grow pumpkins better, I guess. I came across some pictures of some giant pumpkins and I was hooked ever since."
The South Carolina Department of Agriculture doesn't track large pumpkins grown in South Carolina, so we don't know how Eric's pumpkin compares to others grown in the state.
The competition is sanctioned by the Great Pumpkin Commonwealth and growers from several states compete. First prize is $1,250, second earns $750 and third place is $500.