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17-Year-Old Miss Nebraska Becomes Youngest Miss America

A 17-year-old Nebraskan too young to vote has become the youngest woman to be crowned Miss America since the pageant implemented age limits in 1938.

The recent high school graduate, the youngest contestant in Saturday's pageant at Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino in Las Vegas, is also the first Miss Nebraska to win the title.

Teresa Scanlan, who played 'White Water Chopsticks' on piano and spoke about eating disorders, won over the seven judges to take home the title, besting 52 other women.

The teen, who aspires to attend law school and be a politician one day, won a $50,000 scholarship and the title after answering a question about Wikileaks.

"You know when it came to that situation, it was actually based on espionage, and when it comes to the security of our nation, we have to focus on security first and then people's right to know, because it's so important that everybody who's in our borders is safe and so we can't let things like that happen, and they must be handled properly," she said.

The pageant also featured its first-ever bald contestant Saturday night with Miss Delaware Kayla Martell, who lost her hair at age 10 because of alopecia areata. She wore a wig for the competition.

Miss Arkansas Alyse Eady was the first runner-up and will take over the crown if Scanlan is unable to perform the duties of Miss America.

January 17, 2011 |

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