The votes are for the best mullet in the country.
After collecting tens of thousands of votes over the weekend for its youth and children’s divisions, the USA Mullet Championship awarded its top trophies to 8-year-old Emmitt Bailey and 18-year-old Cayden Kershaw, both of Wisconsin.
“It feels great,” says Kershaw, a high school senior and captain of his school’s football team. “The amount of support I’ve had from friends and family and people from all over the world has been extraordinary.”
Second and third place in the junior division went to Florida’s Fisher Monds and Wisconsin’s Max Weihbrecht, respectively. Second place in the children’s division went to Epic Orta of Texas, with third place going to William Dale Ramsey of Ohio.
Kershaw started growing his mullet three years ago, and since then, he’s gotten “a lot of compliments” on his style, he says. “I’m kind of proud of that.”
Another thing he’s proud of is being able to donate his $1,000 prize to local charity Peyton’s Promise, providing fresh food to organizations that help fight hunger across the state. He says his years playing football inspired him to use his platform to help spread good.
“It really makes me want to step up, because leadership is a really big part [of my life]especially in football,” he says. “Being able to lead guys when things go wrong and everything, that’s directly related to life in general.”
Meanwhile, 8-year-old Bailey, who has been rocking his mullet for almost two years, is thrilled to be rewarded for his ‘do.
“That’s awesome!” the third grader tells Yahoo Life while on the phone with his mother, making it clear that he’s very excited to go back to school and tell his friends he’s the winner.
With dreams of becoming a professional racing driver, Bailey, whose favorite part of school is recess, has two simple tips for becoming a winner: “Stick with it” and “Just be yourself.”
Kershaw, who dreams of playing college football, adds his own sentiment: “You only live once,” he says.
Created in early 2020 by Kevin Begola, the owner of Michigan-based menswear store Bridge Street Exchange, the USA Mullet Championship has become a favorite among mullet enthusiasts.
Originally started as a local in-store contest called the Michigan Mudflap, to crown the best male mullet in town, the contest has since expanded to include the current children’s and youth divisions, as well as a women’s contest (registration for which will be announced soon ), all of which have gained popularity over the past couple of years.
For Begola and the pageant’s devoted fans, the mullet isn’t just a hairstyle — it’s a way of expression. “There’s a whole mantra: It’s not just a haircut, it’s a lifestyle. And I really, really believe that,” he told Yahoo Life earlier this month. “The last two years have been quite stressful for people. [The competition] it’s a way to have fun. Most of the people you’ll meet with mullets have good personalities and don’t take life too seriously.”
Entries for the men’s mullet division are open until August 31st. Contestants must be at least 19 years old and pay a $10 entry fee — half of which will be donated to Maggie’s Wigs for Kids, a Michigan-based nonprofit that helps children who need wigs due to cancer treatments or other conditions that cause temporary or long-term hair loss.
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