Gov. Tony Evers announced his victory in the Wisconsin gubernatorial race in the early morning on Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2022, saying in his acceptance speech, “Holy mackerel, folks, how about that?” He repeated his “holy mackerel” catchphrase in a tweet.
His Republican opponent Tim Michels conceded in the early morning on Nov. 9. “Unfortunately, the math doesn’t add up,” he told supporters.
With over 95% of votes counted, Evers won the election for his second term as governor with more than 51% of the vote, beating Michel’s share of under 48%. Evers won in 2018 by a little more than 1 percentage point.
While there appears to be a lack of agreement on where the phrase comes from— a version of “Holy Mary!”, a reference to Catholics eating fish on Fridays or a combination— Merriam-Webster says the expression is used when “one is very surprised, pleased, or excited.”
Tony Evers: Tweet from November 9, 2022. 7:14 a.m. CDT.
New York Times: Wisconsin governor election results
Merriam-Webster: Holy mackerel Definition & Meaning
The Guardian: Where does the expression ‘Holy Mackerel’ come from?