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Dug the spud faces hurdle in bid to become world record holder

Newshub logo Newshub 18/01/2022 Giles Dexter
Dug is almost 3kg heavier than the current holder, but he needs his DNA tested to prove his credentials. © Newshub Dug is almost 3kg heavier than the current holder, but he needs his DNA tested to prove his credentials.

A Waikato man's journey to get his gigantic potato certified as a Guinness World Record breaker has taken a new twist.

Dug the Spud is almost 3kg heavier than the current holder, but he needs his DNA tested to prove his credentials.

"They just need to make sure that what they've got is the real deal, rather than an imposter," says his grower, Colin Craig-Brown.

Dug looks like he's from another planet, but he's straight from the Waikato earth.

"He's a lovely little critter, he's the sort of thing only a mother could love," says Colin.

The terrific tater was unearthed in October, when Colin and his wife Donna found him hidden under the weeds between the strawberries and cucumbers in their Ngāhinapо̄uri garden.

The 7.9kg behemoth was destined for the dinner table before his run at the Guinness World Record books. But there's been a bit of a battle bringing Guinness to the party.

"It's just a never-ending case of having to do whatever they ask for next," says Colin.

The requirements have driven him starch raving mad. He's taken pictures, sent video, and got Dug weighed under supervision and verified by an agronomist - but there's still more red tape to go.

"They need to know what genus it is, what variety it is, you know, what his grandfather's name was."

A chunk of Dug will soon be on its way to Lincoln University, where DNA analysis will take place to prove if Dug is 100 percent potato.

But, calling a spud a spud, Colin says a taste is all it should take.

"I gave him the ol' taste test, and said to my wife 'no, it's a potato'," he explains.

The wait for glory has proven a bit much for Dug. He was starting to smell, and now lives in a "local cryogenic storage facility" (also known as the freezer in the shed).

"He's happy in there, none of the other veggies have denied responsibility or said they'd never heard of him. There's no jealousy going on in the garden. I've got giant pumpkins keen to meet and have a chat with him," Colin says.

Depending on the ruling, he'll throw either a celebration or a wake, where Dug could even provide the booze: Colin's considering turning him into vodka.

"There won't be any loaves and fishes going on, but there will be a bit of chemistry happening!"

He's also considering getting Colin moulded.

"Even if he does end up being consumed as alcoholic liquor or turned into chips, I've still got an effigy of the mighty Dug!"

But regardless of what happens, Colin is remaining philosophical.

"We're just going to follow the yellow brick road and see if it takes us to meet the wizard," he says.

"All said and done, at the end of it all, it's still just a bloody potato."

And this grower of giant veg isn't ruling out a bigger and better record attempt in the future.

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