Mathias Willemijns holds up a Belgian flag next to his record-smashing pumpkin. (Thomas Kienzle/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images)

Mathias Willemijns grew a pumpkin of proportions not seen until this year. The Belgian man set a world record last week with a super squash that weighed 2,624.6 pounds.

Willemijns claimed the record October 9 at the Giant Pumpkin European Championship in Ludwigsburg, Germany. Guinness World Records has yet to confirm it. The previous world-record pumpkin was 2,323 pounds. Swiss grower Beni Meier set that record in 2014 at a weigh-off at the same event.

United States growers showed off huge pumpkins at California festivals, but neither came close to Willemijns’s.

Russ Pugh from Santa Rosa won the Elk Grove Giant Pumpkin Festival earlier this month with a 1,944.5-pounder. Cindy Tobeck of Olympia, Washington, won last week’s Safeway World Championship Pumpkin Weigh-Off in Half Moon Bay with a pumpkin weighing 1,910 pounds.

In addition to bragging rights, winners of giant-pumpkin contests often receive big cash prizes. Tobeck won $11,460, or $6 per pound of pumpkin.

Cindy Tobeck sits atop her pumpkin after winning the Safeway World Championship Pumpkin Weigh-Off at Half Moon Bay, California. (Gary Reyes/AP)

Christina Barron