Updated: Last night, Miss Arkansas won the annual Miss America contest between 52 contestants (you’re maybe forgetting D.C. and Puerto Rico). Miss Kentucky, Laura Jones of Danville, finished among the top 15 finalists before being eliminated. Here’s my original post:
By Jim Hopkins
Miss Kentucky is Laura Jones of Danville, a 23-year-old graduate of Kentucky Christian University, where she earned a degree in university studies and biblical studies, with a minor in counseling psychology. She plans to become an eating disorders counselor and life coach, following her own struggles with an eating disorder.
Jones spent 10 years on the pageant circuit, winning the state contest July 2 in Lexington on her fourth try. “I just felt such a sense of peace through the whole process,” she told the Lexington Herald-Leader moments after being crowned. (The paper noted that she spoke with “a fake eyelash coming loose from an avalanche of tears.”) On Sunday, she will play a violin solo for the talent portion.
The non-profit Miss Kentucky Scholarship Pageant Inc. has an annual budget of about $169,000, according to its most recent public IRS tax return. Most of that, nearly $94,000, went toward staging the contest itself. By contrast, Mississippi — which has won the national contest four times — spends $636,000 annually.
Kentucky has had only one Miss America winner: Heather Renee French Henry, in September 1999. Six other states have also won just once: Connecticut, Indiana, Missouri, Nebraska, North Carolina and Oregon. Four states have tied for the most winners (six each): California, New York, Ohio, and Oklahoma. (This list shows winners by state, including the 19 that have never won.)
Henry’s win was the top story on The Courier-Journal’s front page the next day (photo, top). Here’s the moment when she won:
The Miss America Organization’s annual budget was $8.3 million in 2014, according to its most recent tax return. The TV production was the biggest expense: $4.6 million; Miss America herself got paid $305,000. Legal expenses inexplicably totaled Continue reading “Miss Kentucky competed for the Miss America title Sunday on an unlikely campaign platform: eating disorders (plus other fun contest facts)”