“I never could have imagined in a million years that I would be Miss America, let alone that I would be Miss Alaska,” a beaming Emma Broyles told The Associated Press on Friday in a Zoom call from Connecticut, where she won the competition about 12 hours earlier.
The newly crowned Miss America has made history, becoming both the first Korean American and the first Alaskan to hold the title in the competition’s 100-year history.
“And then they said Alaska, and I said, ‘No way. Are you sure? Do you want to check that card again?’ ” she said before the emotion overtook her and she began crying tears of joy.
“I could not believe it,” Broyles said. “I am so, so grateful to everybody back at home who’s been supporting me for so long, and I’m so glad that I’m able to bring home the title of Miss America to the state of Alaska for the first time in history.”
The very first Miss America program began in 1921 as a beauty pageant in Atlantic City, New Jersey. However, Broyles is only the 94th Miss America.
Broyles, 20, said her grandparents immigrated from Korea to Anchorage about 50 years ago, before her mother was born.
“Although my mom is full Korean, she was born and raised right in Anchorage, Alaska,” Broyles said.