The Bluffton-made "World's Largest Boiled Peanut" survived its starring role on Tuesday's episode of A&E's "Shipping Wars"-- barely.
The 800-pound gargantuan groundnut was cracked and scraped when it rolled off a flatbed truck bed as it was being loaded for its move down Interstate 95, from roadside attraction South of the Border in Hamer to Cahill's Market in Bluffton.
Jared Jester, one of the wood and foam peanut's builders, said he was surprised to see it fall from the truck while watching Tuesday. Producers failed to mention it to him during filming. Workers at South of the Border used a metal pole slid through the center of the peanut to lift it onto star Jessica Samko's trailer, but the peanut's momentum caused it to roll off the trailer and fall to the ground.
The A&E show features truckers who ship unusual items around the country. Along with Bluffton's giant peanut, a scale-model Hummer made entirely of Styrofoam was featured in the half-hour program. The shippers move the items after bidding on the jobs, with the lowest bid winning. Bidding on the peanut -- which is 22 feet long, 8 feet wide, and 8 feet high -- started at $2,000 but was won by Samko at $725.
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The peanut's move from South of the Border to Cahill's Market was filmed in May, in advance of the Aug. 23 Boiled Peanut Festival, where it is the centerpiece. The peanut was built for the boiled peanut festival in 2013 by Jester, Clayton Colleran and Hannah Parrish.
It was delivered to Cahill's Market with a large crack near its center, and several gashes and gouges, leading to some ribbing by co-star Marc Springer.
"She already shelled it at the pickup," Springer said.
Damage to the peanut was estimated on the show at $150, which Samko had to cover. After expenses, Samko made a $455 profit from the move, according to the show. Jester said repairs to the peanut were still being made but should be completed in time for the Boiled Peanut Festival.
Although the peanut's fall was unexpected, Jester said he was "pleasantly surprised" to see it on national television. Since the airing of the episode late Tuesday night, Jester said he had received several calls about appearances for the giant peanut.
The peanut is made of pine studs, plywood, chicken wire, standard insulation and spray foam insulation, and exterior paint. It is on display at Cahill's Market in Bluffton, which has the room to keep the peanut, Robbie Cahill said.
Cahill appeared on the show to accept delivery of the giant peanut. He received an email from producers last week to let him know the show would air Tuesday. He let family and friends know about it, and said he received several calls from them after the show had aired.
Follow reporter Matt McNab at twitter.com/IPBG_Matt.