Miss South Carolina USA narrowly lost her bid to become Miss USA Sunday night.
Megan Pinckney, 22, got to the top five in the Miss USA pageant Sunday, but ultimately was named fifth runner-up.
Erin Brady, 25, representing Connecticut, won the title in Las Vegas. Brady gets the crown and a New York apartment for one year.
She is expected to spend her title reign on a nationwide speaking tour and raising breast and ovarian cancer awareness, the organization’s official cause.
Pinckney, 22, is a native of Charleston and a student at the University of South Carolina. In 2010, she served as Miss South Carolina Teen USA, the fourth person in that organization to serve top honors in the teen and main competition. In 2011, Pinckney was a top 15 finalist in the 2011 Miss South Carolina pageant.
She serves as a legislative aide to state Rep. Todd Rutherford, D-Richland.
The state’s Republication governor, Nikki Haley, set aside partisanship for Pinckney, who is a Democrat, and cheered her on Sunday evening.
Ali Rogers, who was first runner-up in the 2013 Miss America contest, was rooting for her friend on Twitter: “@RealMissSCusa looks SO great. Really proud of her for representing what a fit, HEALTHY young woman should look like.”
One of Pinckney’s ambitions is to have lunch with first lady Michelle Obama, and “grow up to be” like her.
During the final round, Pinckney talked about distributing gifts to children last Christmas, and how the best part was seeing the look on the parents’ faces.
“I think this is the biggest thing I’ve ever done,” she told The State last week.
But during Sunday’s pageant, she struggled when asked if treason was a reasonable charge for someone who had revealed national secrets.
Interview with Miss SC USA Megan Pinckney
The final question, in which Miss Utah USA stirs up painful memories of a flubbed answer by a previous pageant contestant from South Carolina
Commentary on Miss Utah USA's flubbed answer
Forgotten in the Miss Utah USA question hubbub: A real answer to the question
The top 5 revealed