The 19 States That Have Never Produced A “Miss America”

Four states—California, Ohio, New York and Oklahoma—account for a quarter of all the winners

Miss America 2016, Betty Cantrell of Georgia. — REUTERS
Sep 14, 2015 at 12:12 PM ET

Betty Cantrell, who was crowned Miss America this weekend, is the second person from the state of Georgia to win the beauty pageant since it began in 1921. But 19 states have yet to produce a single victor.

Cantrell broke a three-year winning streak for New York, which is one of four states with six total winners. California, Ohio and Oklahoma are the others. Miss America, which is not to be confused with Donald Trump’s Miss USA and Miss Universe, has never had a winner from Massachusetts, Maryland, Alaska and more than a dozen other states.

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Miss America says it exists “to provide personal and professional opportunities for young women to promote their voices in culture, politics and the community.” It awards a $50,000 college scholarship to each year’s winner, with smaller scholarships for runners-up and other participants. But the contest is very much a beauty pageant, complete with swimsuit, evening wear, talent and interview rounds.

The 21-year-old Cantrell was asked in the final round whether she believed New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady cheated as part of Deflategate. “I think I’d have to be there and see the ball and feel it and make sure it was deflated or not deflated,” said Cantrell, who later told reporters: “It was kind of a funky question.”