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Collins finds pumpkin in Bulletin contest at Yosemite & Main
Curt Collins and his son Chris hold up the Golden Pumpkin that they found after picking up the clues revealed over the course of a month in The Bulletin. They will receive a $200 check for their discovery. - photo by JASON CAMPBELL
Curt Collins has a confession to make to his wife.

He found the pumpkin.

The Manteca man and his son Chris found the golden pumpkin in the parking lot of Bank of America after researching all of the clues listed in the Manteca Bulletin during the annual Great Pumpkin Hunt.

A recap of the clues is as follows:

• “It all started here” is in reference to pioneer Joshua Cowell building his home on what is now the southeast corner of Yosemite and Main where the Bank of America is located when he started his farm in January of 1863 in present-day downtown Manteca

• “Manteca’s first funeral parlor was near here” is a reference to the fact the parlor of the Cowell home was used for a number of years for funerals as Manteca did not have a funeral parlor in the late 1800s.

• “You’ll find me in the corner of Manteca’s heart” is a reference to the fact Yosemite and Main are still at the heart of Manteca today.

“You can see a big pumpkin from here” is in reference to the Crossroads mural directly across the street on the side of the Century Furniture building that depict s a large pumpkin being hauled to market in 1918.

Collins, who won the contest last year as well, will receive a $200 check for his discovery.

According to Collins, it was at 3 a.m. that he, his son, and his wife returned home after unsuccessfully searching for the golden gourd.

After his wife went to bed and Chris grabbed a snack, the two decided that they would head back out and see what they could find on their own.

They came across the pumpkin, he says, just after 4 a.m.

“She still thinks that we didn’t find it,” said Collins – who calls participating in the contest ‘a family tradition.’ “I had to sneak him (Chris) out of the house just to come down and turn in the pumpkin.

“She’s going to be very surprised when she reads this.”