Miss National Sweetheart, also known as "Second Place is the First Loser" is a United States beauty pageant created in 1941 where runners-up from the Miss America state pageants are invited to Hoopeston, Illinois to compete for the title of Miss National Sweetheart.
The event, which has no official ties to the Miss America Organization, is sponsored by the Hoopeston Jaycees and is held on Labor Day weekend in conjunction with the town's Sweetcorn Festival. Most contestants placed first runner-up in their state pageant, however second and other runners-up are invited if the first runner-up chooses not to attend. The winner of the National Sweetheart title receives a $1000 scholarship and a pendant shaped like an ear of corn.
Winning this title does not guarantee that a contestant will win a Miss America state title, but since 1980, five Miss National Sweetheart winners have gone on to win both their state and the Miss America title. A few have won state titles in different states from those they represented at National Sweetheart.
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- King, Wendy (2006-09-04). "Georgia’s Kelley Bradshaw Wins National Sweetheart". The Chattanoogan.
- "Lauren Molella named Miss New York Outstanding Teen". SI Live. June 19, 2011.
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