Miss New York, Mallory Hagan, was crowned Miss America 2013 during a live show from Las Vegas on Saturday, Jan. 12, 2013. Miss America 2012 Laura Kaeppeler, appeared at the ceremony to crown Hagan the winner.
Hagan beat out 53 other contestants for the crown, a $50,000 scholarship and a yearlong run as Miss America, touring the country to speak to groups and raise money for the Miss America Organization's official charity, the Children's Miracle Network.
The 23-year-old currently lives in Brooklyn, New York. Her talent was a tap dance routine to James Brown's "Get Up Off of That Thing." During the question portion of the competition, Hagan answered a question about whether armed guards belong in grade schools.
Hagan replied that we should not fight violence with violence. Miss South Carolina, Ali Rogers, was named the runner-up. Miss Oklahoma Alicia Clifton, finished third.
She beat out other notable contestants like Miss Montana, the pageant's first autistic contestant, Miss Iowa, who has Tourette's syndrome and Miss Maine, who lost more than 50 pounds before winning her state title. Miss District of Columbia also previously announced her plans to undergo a preventive double mastectomy to reduce her risk of breast cancer, after her mother and grandmother died from the disease.
Hagan spoke to the Live Well Network prior to the competition for the special series "Miss America: Secret's Revealed." During the interview, she talked about how many clothes she had to pack for the show and a lucky charm she wears.
"This is my state of New York necklace and the diamond has been placed in Brooklyn," she said. "Many of the Miss New York contestants gave it to me as my send off gift."
She also revealed her secret for brining the crown home.
"My secret, I don't think it's so much of a secret. It's just to kind of be myself, be real and relatable and hope that I can relate to all six of the judges that are going to be there," she said during the interview, which can be viewed below. "Also to just have a lot of fun. If I can kind of do all those things kind of combined I think that I have a good shot."
The contestants had to impress a star-studded panel of judges that included "Dancing With the Stars" pro Cheryl Burke, 2012 Olympic gold medalist McKayla Maroney, Miss America 2009 Katie Stam Irk, former "Entertainment Tonight" host Mary Hart, "Shark Tank" star Daymond John, "Good Morning America" weather anchor Sam Champion, and fashion designer Bradley Bayou.
Chris Harrison, host of ABC dating reality show "The Bachelor," and "Dancing With the Stars" co-host Brooke Burke-Charvet co-hosted the pageant for the third year in a row.
The first Miss America pageant took place in 1921. Winners of state contests are given scores based on their appearance in swimsuits and evening wear on stage and their answers given in prerecorded personal interviews and in response to a question asked during the live show.
The contest is not to be confused with Donald Trump's annual Miss USA pageant, which also selects a winner from among state beauty queens. The Miss America pageant features an additional talent portion, during which contestants are judged on acts they perform, such as singing, dancing and juggling routines.
See a photo of Miss America 2013, Mallory Hagan, during the swimsuit competition below.