Hemingway Look-Alike Winner Named in Key West

There’s a new “Papa” Hemingway in the island city where legendary author Ernest Hemingway lived and wrote for most of the 1930s. White-bearded Floridian Jon Auvil has been named the winner of the 2022 Hemingway Look-Alike Contest, a highlight of Key West's annual Hemingway Days celebration.

Auvil, a 65-year-old real estate attorney from Dade City, bested 124 other entrants after two preliminary rounds and Saturday night’s finals. “I think I feel most like Hemingway because of his relationship with his friends, his wife and his children,” said Auvil just after his victory. “I feel very, very rich right now.”

Look-Alike Contest entrants were judged by past winners at Sloppy Joe's Bar, the Duval Street saloon where Hemingway and his cohorts frequently gathered. Some entrants tried to emulate the author in his later-years “Papa” persona, with full beards, rugged demeanors and sportsman’s attire.

As well as appearance, Auvil said he shared other traits with Ernest Hemingway including a love of fishing. He has also tried his hand at writing fiction and a bit of nonfiction.