The World's Greatest Gourd Growers and their astounding, mind-boggling, Volkswagen-sized orange orbs hope to squash the world record on Monday, October 14th at the 40th Annual Safeway World Championship Pumpkin Weigh-Off –– the “Super Bowl of Weigh-Offs” –– in the World Pumpkin Capital of Half Moon Bay, California. Organizers are offering $25,000 in total prize money for a new world record pumpkin entered at Half Moon Bay. A host of accomplished, grizzled veteran growers will contend for the coveted title, the $25,000 world record prize and thousands of dollars in additional prize money. In a pay-by-the-pound system, the winner is guaranteed a hefty $6 per pound for the champion mega-pumpkin. Defending champion Thad Starr of Pleasant Hill, OR, obliterated the formidable field at last year’s Half Moon Bay weigh-off with his titanic 1,775-pound Atlantic Giant that set a new California weigh-off record. Beauty will share center stage with beefy brawn with a $500 prize awarded to the “most beautiful pumpkin” as judged by the audience based on color, shape and size. The grand champion mega-gourd (along with the top five overall) will be on display at the Half Moon Bay Art & Pumpkin Festival, October 19-20, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Main Street.