Hundreds of people named Josh gathered in Nebraska for the title of The Josh

Josh Vinson Jr., the winner of the JoshFight.
(Image credit: Screenshot/YouTube/KMTV 3 News Now)

Armed with foam pool noodles, Joshes from across the United States flocked to Lincoln, Nebraska, on Saturday to determine who is the country's top Josh.

It all started last spring, when Josh Swain, an engineering student at the University of Arizona, was bored in quarantine and sent a joking message out to every other Josh Swain he could find on Facebook. He invited them to meet on April 24, 2021, at a random location in Nebraska to decide who is the ultimate Josh Swain. "We fight, whoever wins gets to keep the name, everyone else has to change their name, you have a year to prepare, good luck," Swain wrote.

His message quickly went viral, and soon, the invitation was extended to anyone named Josh. When Swain realized how many people were actually interested in participating, he began finalizing the details — Swain settled on pool noodles for the fight, picked a new location (the original site was private farmland), and asked participants to donate to the Children's Hospital & Medical Center Foundation in Omaha and bring a nonperishable item to give to a Lincoln food bank.

Subscribe to The Week

Escape your echo chamber. Get the facts behind the news, plus analysis from multiple perspectives.


Sign up for The Week's Free Newsletters

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

Sign up

When Swain arrived at the spot of the event — dubbed the JoshFight — he found about 1,000 people (hundreds of Joshes, plus their fans), with some driving more than 20 hours to get there. "I can't describe it," Swain told The Wall Street Journal. "It's so heartwarming, so incredible. It was a beautiful day."

About 70 Joshes duked it out in the pool noodle fight, and the title of The Josh – as well as a trophy and crown — went to Josh Vinson Jr., 4, of Lincoln. His dad, Josh Vinson Sr., told the Journal his son had "the time of his life. Everyone was a really good sport." He wasn't the only winner — Swain said more than $10,000 has been donated to The Children's Hospital & Medical Center Foundation and four car loads worth of items were collected for the food drive. Catherine Garcia

Continue reading for free

We hope you're enjoying The Week's refreshingly open-minded journalism.

Subscribed to The Week? Register your account with the same email as your subscription.

Catherine Garcia

Catherine Garcia is night editor for Her writing and reporting has appeared in Entertainment Weekly and, The New York Times, The Book of Jezebel, and other publications. A Southern California native, Catherine is a graduate of the University of Redlands and the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.