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A New Zealand couple who thought they’d found the world’s largest potato have had their hopes dashed by DNA results.

While most of us have probably never thought too hard about what constitutes a potato, a potential new Guinness World Record rested exactly on that.

Unfortunately, for the couple from near Hamilton on New Zealand’s North Island, Guinness was forced to break the bad news that the giant potato they thought they’d dug up on their small farm was, in fact, not a potato.

The tuber was first discovered in August last year by Colin Craig-Brown, who hit it with a hoe when he and his wife Donna were out gardening.

Colin Craig-Brown/AP

Having believed they may have found the world’s largest potato, they submitted images and paperwork to Guinness to try and get it confirmed.

But, their hopes were dashed when Guinness revealed that DNA testing has found it was actually the “tuber of a type of gourd”.

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The email addressed “Dear Colin” and continued: “Sadly the specimen is not a potato and is in fact the tuber of a type of gourd. For this reason we do unfortunately have to disqualify the application.”

Craig-Brown told The Guardian: “What can you say?” said Craig-Brown. “We can’t say we don’t believe you, because we gave them the DNA stuff.”

Before this confirmation, the faux potato was given the nickname Dug and had become somewhat of a local celebrity thanks to Facebook, where the couple dressed it up and built a cart to wheel Dug around in.

An official weigh-in at a farmer’s shop confirmed Dug weighed 7.8 kg, which would have blown the current record holder – a 5 kg potato from the UK in 2011 – out of the water, had it been a potato.

Craig-Brown is still very fond of Dug, who is currently in the couple’s freezer.

He said: “I say ‘gidday’ to him every time I pull out some sausages. He’s a cool character. Whenever the grandchildren come round, they say, ‘Can we see Dug?’

“He is the world’s biggest not-a-potato.”

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