Photos of the exact moment 35 contestants found out they won Miss USA

FOX via Getty ImagesMiss Nebraska Sarah Rose Summers is named Miss USA.

Winning Miss USA is potentially the peak of any beauty queen’s career. It’s no shock that getting crowned would cause an emotional reaction of joy, shock, and even tears.

Luckily for us, there’s usually a camera around to capture the thrilling moment. From 1953 to 2019, here are 35 Miss USA winners the exact moment they won.


1955: Miss Vermont Carlene King Johnson

Bettmann/Getty ImagesCarlene King Johnson, Miss Vermont, sits enthroned as Miss United States after her selection at Long Beach, California.

Johnson was the fourth-ever Miss USA.


1958: Miss Louisiana Eurlyne Howell

Los Angeles Examiner/USC Libraries/Corbis via Getty ImagesReturning Miss USA Charlotte Sheffield of Utah puts the crown on head of new Miss USA, Eurlyne Howell of Louisiana.

Howell was the first Miss Louisiana to win Miss USA.


1965: Miss Ohio Sue Ann Downey

Bettmann/Getty ImagesMis USA 1965, Sue Ann Downey of Columbus, Ohio.

Downey’s hair has the signature ’60s wave.


1967: Miss Alabama Sylvia Hitchcock

Bettmann/Getty ImagesSylvia Louise Hitchcock with her court as Miss USA.

Hitchcock memorably said during her pageant, “I can’t think of a single disadvantage that goes along with being pretty,” according to the Sarasota Herald-Tribune.


1968: Miss Washington Dorothy Anstett

Bettmann/Getty ImagesA radiant Dorothy Anstett of Kirkland, Washington, poses with her newly won Miss USA trophy.

At the time, getting the crown earned the winner a $US10,000 prize and a brand-new wardrobe, reported the Reading Eagle.


1972: Miss Hawaii Tanya Wilson

Bettmann/Getty ImagesTanya Wilson of Honolulu is crowned Miss USA of 1972 at the conclusion of the annual pageant.

Wilson originally competed as Miss Nevada in 1970 but after a move to Hawaii competed for the Aloha State.


1973: Miss Illinois Amanda Jones

Ron Galella/WireImageBob Barker and Amanda Jones during the 1973 Miss USA Pageant.

Jones was the 22nd Miss USA and was 22 years old when she won her crown.


1974: Miss Illinois Karen Morrison

Bettmann/Getty ImagesMiss USA 1974, Karen J. Morrison.

At 5-foot-11, Morrison was the tallest person to win a major beauty pageant at the time, according to the Sumter Daily Item.


1980: Miss South Carolina Shawn Weatherly

Weatherly was the fifth Miss USA to become Miss Universe when she competed in Seoul, South Korea.


1983: Miss California Julie Hayek

Hayek went on to appear in multiple TV shows including “Moonlighting,” “Dallas,” and “Twin Peaks.”


1986: Miss Texas Christy Fichtner

Yes, that Halle Berry was the runner-up for Miss USA 1986 – and she’s not the only celebrity to have dabbled in the beauty pageant world.


1990: Miss Michigan Carole Gist

George Rose/Getty ImagesMiss Michigan Carole Anne-Marie Gist is crowned Miss USA at the 1990 pageant.

Gist was the first black woman to win Miss USA.


1992: Miss California Shannon Marketic

Marketic also won Miss Photogenic at the 1992 pageant.


1993: Miss Michigan Kenya Moore

MISS UNIVERSE,INC./AFP/Getty ImagesKenya Moore, Miss Michigan USA, reacts after winning the Miss USA 1993 title on February 19, 1993.

Moore can be seen on “The Real Housewives of Atlanta,” though she left as a full-time cast member in 2018.


1996: Miss Louisiana Ali Landry

Landry is one of the most notable former-Miss USA winners, having since appeared in numerous commercials, magazines, and movies. In 2018, she appeared in an episode of sitcom “Kevin Can Wait.”


1999: Miss New York Kimberly Ann Pressler

Pressler has been the reporter for all FOX Sports Professional Bowlers Association events since 2010.


2000: Miss Tennessee Lynnette Cole

Cole was the first Miss USA from Tennessee.


2001: Miss Texas Kandace Krueger

PATRICK PRATHER/AFP/Getty ImagesKandace Krueger reacts as she’s proclaimed Miss USA 2001 on March 2, 2001.

The 2001 pageant was hosted for the first and only time by William Shatner after he played a pageant host in the 2000 comedy “Miss Congeniality.”


2002: Miss Washington, DC, Shauntay Hinton

Hinton was the first winner from Washington, DC, in 38 years. The last Miss District of Columbia winner was in 1964.


2004: Miss Missouri Shandi Finnessey

After her reign ended, Finnessey appeared on and won the short-lived reality dating competition show “Ready for Love.” She was chosen by one of the show’s three bachelors, though the two broke up shortly after.


2005: Miss North Carolina Chelsea Cooley

After her reign, Cooley joined the girl group BQ Girls – BQ stands for Beauty Queens – alongside former Miss Universe 1998 Wendy Fitzwilliam, Miss Teen USA 2012 first runner-up Haley Seibert, and Miss China Universe 2011 third runner-up Yi Na.


2006: Miss Kentucky Tara Conner

Conner became the center of a scandal during her reign when she was caught partying and tested positive for cocaine. She checked into rehab and was able to hang onto her crown.


2007: Miss Tennessee Rachel Smith

When Smith travelled to Mexico for Miss Universe, she dressed up as Elvis Presley for the National Costume Show to honour her Tennessee home.


Read more:
The wildest outfits in the history of Miss Universe’s National Costume Show


2008: Miss Texas Crystle Stewart

Stewart had her first major acting role in the 2018 film “Acrimony,” written and directed by Tyler Perry.


2009: Miss North Carolina Kristen Dalton

Pageants are in Dalton’s blood – her mother, Jennie, was Miss North Carolina in 1982 and her sister, Julia, was the second runner-up in the 2008 Miss Teen USA pageant.


2010: Miss Michigan Rima Fakih

ABC News reported that Fakih was the first Muslim Miss USA.


2011: Miss California Alyssa Campanella

Pageant queen Campanella is now married to another royal of sorts, actor Torrance Coombs, who played the illegitimate son of King Henry II on “Reign.”


2012: Miss Rhode Island Olivia Culpo

Isaac Brekken/Getty ImagesMiss Rhode Island USA Olivia Culpo reacts as she is announced Miss USA during the 2012 Miss USA pageant on June 3, 2012.

Culpo went on to win Miss Universe, the first Miss USA to take the crown since 1997.


2013: Miss Connecticut Erin Brady

Michael Stewart/WireImage via Getty ImagesMiss Connecticut Erin Brady becomes the new Miss USA during the 2013 Miss USA pageant on June 16, 2013.

Brady was the first Miss Connecticut to win Miss USA.


2014: Miss Nevada Nia Sanchez

Sanchez is a fourth-degree black belt in taekwondo.


2015: Miss Oklahoma Olivia Jordan

Jordan is the first woman to represent the US at two international pageants. She was the American representative at Miss Universe, as all Miss USAs are, and also was Miss World America at the Miss World pageant in 2013.


2016: Miss Washington, DC, Deshauna Barber

Ethan Miller/Getty ImagesMiss District of Columbia USA 2016 Deshauna Barber reacts as she is named Miss USA on June 5, 2016.

Barber was the first Miss USA to have served in the armed forces.


2017: Miss Washington, DC, Kára McCullough

This was a back-to-back win for Washington, DC.


2018: Miss Nebraska Sarah Rose Summers

FOX via Getty ImagesMiss Nebraska, Sarah Rose Summers, is named Miss USA at the 2018 Miss USA Competition.

Summers was the reigning Miss USA after placing in the top 20 at Miss Universe.


2019: Miss North Carolina Cheslie Kryst

Alex Mertz/The Miss Universe OrganisationMiss USA 2019, Cheslie Kryst, is crowned.

Kryst is a full-time attorney who works on getting inmates released from prison.

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