Matthew McConaughey talks about his mom pretended he won a ‘Little Mr. Texas’ pageant

Matthew McConaughey

HOUSTON – Actor and Texas native Matthew McConaughey was always called a winner of “Little Mr. Texas” for most of his life -- until just two years ago when he learned the truth.

During “The Kelly Clarkson Show” Tuesday promoting his new memoir “Green Lights,” the “Dazed and Confused” actor told the story of how his mother pretended he won a “Little Mr. Texas” pageant when he was 8 years old, but actually won runner-up.

Here’s McConaughey telling the story in another interview.

“Every time I would go to the kitchen for breakfast, my mom would point the framed photo of me and would say ‘Look at you, Matthew, Little Mr. Texas, that’s you!'" he said on ‘The Kelly Clarkson Show."

He then recalled that in 2018, he learned the truth about that same image he found in a file of photographs, with the words “runner-up” engraved on the nameplate which caught his eye.

“You know what, would I be sitting here right now with the life I have if I was raised thinking I was runner-up?" he said. “That got my mom laughing.”


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A graduate of the University of Houston-Downtown, Ana moved to H-Town from sunny southern California in 2015. In 2020, she joined the KPRC 2 digital team as an intern. Ana is a self-proclaimed coffee connoisseur, a catmom of 2, and an aquarium enthusiast. In her spare time, she's an avid video gamer and loves to travel.