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Pumpkinnovators: From Gourds to Ghouls

By Suzanne Woolley - 2013-10-25T17:14:06Z

Courtesy  Hugh McMahon

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Shocking Watermelons

A job McMahon's particularly proud of was one Mad Magazine paid him $1,000 for -- the face of Alfred E. Newman. He carves about 300 pumpkins a season, so has gone through thousands -- "It could be 20,000." Custom pumpkins cost from $100 to $1,000 depending on how they'll be used; large pumpkins could be about $2,000. Starbucks is a sponsor of his now, he says, in connection with its pumpkin-spiced latte, and Toyota has paid him in the past to carve a giant pumpkin in the back of one of its trucks.

The NY-based McMahon works with pumpkins three months a year and carves watermelons for other time periods. His scariest injuries have been shocks from electricity, since he tends to light up his creations. "It's worse with watermelons," he says.