Miss New York was crowned Miss America 2013 in the 92nd Miss America pageant on Saturday night, winning many perks such as $50,000 worth of college scholarship money.
Mallory Hytes Hagan, 23, beat out 52 other contestants to win the crown.
Hagan, born in Alabama, moved to Brooklyn, N.Y., when she was 18. Currently, Hagan is a student at the Fashion Institute of Technology studying advertising, communications and marketing, according to People.
Hagan was shocked to win the title, after being first-runner up twice in Miss New York before eventually winning. Miss South Carolina Ali Rogers was first runner-up and Miss Oklahoma Alicia Clifton followed with third.
Hagan’s platform, Stop It Now!, aims at preventing child sexual abuse, according to People.
Hagan was the first New York contestant to win Miss America since 1984, according to ABC News.
Hagan inherited the crown from Miss America 2012 Laura Kaeppeler.
Though they did not take home the crown, three contestants made their mark by providing the most inspirational stories. Top 5 finalist Miss Iowa Mariah Cary, a 20-year-old student at Mount Mercy College, suffers from Tourettes syndrome. Cary didn’t win the Miss America crown, but still managed to scoop up over $50,000 worth of scholarship money as Miss Iowa.
Miss Montana Alexis Wineman, the youngest contestant at the age of 18, made pageant history as the first Miss America contestant with Autism. Wineman plans on attending the University of Montana in the fall of 2013 to study art therapy, according to The Montana Standard.
Miss District of Columbia Allyn Rose, a 24-year-old University of Maryland graduate, announced her decision to undergo a double mastectomy after the pageant ended. Rose hopes her decision will help to prevent the seemingly inevitable fate, due to family history and genetic testing, of getting breast cancer, which her mother died from when Rose was 16.
Other notable contestants were top 10 finalist Miss Maryland Joanna Guy, a 21-year-old Cornell student who gave arguably the best signing performance with “I Dreamed a Dream” and Miss Texas DaNae Couch, a 24-year-old graduate from Baylor University, who wowed the audience with her three-baton twirling routine, during which she dropped only one of them once.
For more information about how you can become a Miss America participant and reap the benefits of college scholarship money, you can visit the Miss America website at missamerica.org.
Many colleges offer their own scholarship pageants as well.
Photo of Miss New York courtesy of Huffington Post. Photo of Miss Montana courtesy of the Montana Standard