March Madness 2022 WinnersYou’ve voted your way from a pair of sweet sixteens, all the way to the final match. And now the results are in!

Before we get to this year’s champions, let’s look back at where we started.

March Madness baby names pits the sixteen most-viewed name posts from the prior calendar year against each other. There’s one constraint: after Cora won back-to-back victories, we decided that all past victors were permanently retired. But other than that, the names that compete are as wild and varied as you might imagine.



The 2022 contest featured the following sixteen names: August, Cove, Emrys, Hayes, Huxley, Jones, Kai, Koa, Otto, Percy, Phoenix, River, St. John, Torin, Wells, and Wilder.


On the girls’ side, these sixteen names competed: Alessandra, Bernadette, Betty, Faye, Laken, Maisie, Marigold, Marlowe, Navy, Noa, Oakley, Persephone, Senna, Vera, Zella, and Zuzu.


On the boys’ side, August bested Hayes with over 76% of the vote. That’s a commanding win!

For the girls’ contest, Marigold narrowly nudged past Vera with almost 51% of the tally. Could that be the thinnest victory of any March Madness baby names final match? Possibly …

Hayes and Vera may return to fight another day. But for now, we add two additional names to our March Madness Baby Names all-time champions’ roster:

  • Nathaniel and Louisa in 2011
  • Arthur and Genevieve in 2012
  • Archer and Isla in 2013
  • Everett and Cora in 2014
  • Finn and Cora in 2015*
  • Theodore and Sylvie in 2016
  • Leo and Wren in 2017
  • Rowan and Eliza in 2018
  • Arlo and Margot in 2019
  • Caspian and Tess in 2020
  • Raphael and Magnolia in 2021
  • August and Marigold in 2022

Of the dozen years’ of contests, this marks the fourth year the winning boys’ name has started with the letter A. For girls, three of the twelve victors are M names – and just as many are straight-up nature names, with an honorable mention for Sylvie, Wren, Leo, and maybe even Caspian.

It remains true that the boys’ names are slightly less surprising than the girls’ names – they tend to be more traditional, and more commonly used.

But overall, this list of names could be a jumping-off point for many families looking for a highly-edited selection of time-tested favorites.

Readers, what do you think of August and Marigold’s triumph in March Madness Baby Names 2022?

March Madness winners

About Abby Sandel

Whether you're naming a baby, or just all about names, you've come to the right place! Appellation Mountain is a haven for lovers of obscure gems and enduring classics alike.

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What do you think?


  1. Wish me luck… naming a baby boy August in June. Fingers crossed it’s not too popular…

  2. I’ve been waiting for Marigold to win a March Madness for years! I have a Marigold (born 2018) ID twins Theodore and Felix (2016) and an Arthur (2014). Clearly, I’m a big fan of this list. Felix is the only name of ours that hasn’t won (yet). Maybe next year?!

  3. Interesting observations! I didn’t even notice the similarities in the last few girl names. I’m biased, of course, but I love it.

  4. It’s so interesting how both have a prominent ‘G’ sound in the middle. I wonder if it signals a shift away from the “water” names? What is maybe even more interesting is how similar 3 of the last 4 girl names are: Margot, Magnolia, and now Marigold. Perhaps M will be to the 20s what J was to the 80s.

  5. Love the winning names! Out of the total 32, August was my favorite, with Marigold second after Persephone, one of my top favorite names since childhood. (I think Effie, Pippa or Poppy are lovely nns for Persephone). And interesting to note how many of the top 2 names over the years have been nature-inspired.

  6. Wonderful winners! I really love how almost all of the winners would make great sibling names (I think the only exception would be Arlo and Margot). They always seem to pair so nicely!