Who has the best mullet in the country? Meet the young winners of the 2022 USA Mullet Championship

Mullet winners
Winners of the 2022 USA Mullet Championship's kids' and teens' division, from left, are Emmitt Bailey, 8, and Cayden Kershaw, 18, both of Wisconsin. (Photos: Courtesy USA Mullet Championships)

The votes are in for the best mullet in the country.

After tallying tens of thousands of votes over the weekend for its teens and kids division, the USA Mullet Championship has awarded its top trophies to 8-year-old Emmitt Bailey and 18-year-old Cayden Kershaw, both from 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 all over has been great.”

Second and third place in the teens division went to Fisher Monds of Florida and Max Weihbrecht of Wisconsin, respectively. Second place in the kids division went to Epic Orta from Texas, with third going to William Dale Ramsey of Ohio.

Photo: USA Mullet Championships
Photo: USA Mullet Championships

Kershaw began growing his mullet three years ago, and since that time, he’s received “a lot of compliments” for its style, he says. “I kind of pride myself on that."

Something else he’s proud of is being able to donate his $1,000 prize to the local charity Peyton’s Promise, providing fresh food to organizations that help fight hunger across the state. He says his years of 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 correlates directly to life in general."

Photo: USA Mullet Championships
Photo: USA Mullet Championships

Meanwhile, 8-year-old Bailey, who’s been rocking his mullet for nearly two years, is thrilled to be awarded for his ’do.

“It’s awesome!” the third grader tells Yahoo Life while on the phone with his mother, making it clear he’s very excited to go back to school and tell his friends he’s a winner.

With dreams of being a professional race car driver, Bailey, who's favorite part of school is recess, has two simple pieces of advice 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 the Michigan-based men’s clothing store Bridge Street Exchange, the USA Mullet Championship has become a favorite among mullet enthusiasts.

Initially beginning as a local, in-store contest called the Michigan Mudflap, to crown the best men's mullet in town, the contest has since expanded to include the current kids' and teens' divisions, as well as a women's competition (registration for which will be announced soon), all of which have gained popularity in the last couple of years.

For Begola and the dedicated contest fans, the mullet is more than just a hairstyle — it's a mode of expression. "There's a whole mantra of: It's not just a haircut, it's a lifestyle. And I really truly believe that," he told Yahoo Life earlier this month. “The last couple of years have been pretty stressful on people. [The competition] is a way to have some fun. Most of the people you'll meet with mullets have a good personality, and they don't take life too seriously."

Registration for the men's mullet division is open till August 31. Contestants must be at least 19 years of age and pay a $10 entrance fee — half of which will be donated to Maggie’s Wigs for Kids, a Michigan-based nonprofit helping kids who need a wig because of cancer treatments or other conditions that cause temporary or long-term hair loss.

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