Being No. 13 was more likely a positive omen for her family.

“That’s good luck,” Harrison prophetically told her. “It’s gotten you this far.”

She was the first openly gay contestant to win a state title.

Cantrell said she needed to see and touch the footballs, but if there was any question of cheating, she declared Brady guilty and worthy of punishment.

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Those who love her say she will do it.

This Tuesday, Aug. 30, 2016 photo shows Miss America contestants at a welcoming ceremony in Atlantic City. The first night of preliminary competition in this year's pageant begins Tuesday night, Sept. 6, 2016, with the new Miss America being crowned on Sunday night. (AP Photo/Wayne Parry) (Credit: AP)

After asking singer Brett Eldredge to repeat the question, she vacillated a bit.

During the onstage interview portion of the competition, she was asked what she thought of Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, one of several political questions asked of the contestants.

Following the pageant, Cantrell explained how she plans to use her newly found fame.


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Their daughter advocates for , but an audience back home at the Cantrell Center in Warner Robins sprang from their seats when her name was called.

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The top 15 finalists were: Kentucky; Washington; Massachusetts; Arkansas; South Carolina; Idaho; Iowa; Texas; California; Oklahoma; Maryland; New York; Tennessee; Louisiana, and Mississippi.

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In an interview following her , Cantrell explained how she channeled the pain of her parents’ divorce into her opera performance that propelled her into pageant history in a flowing red, strapless gown.

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When calling her name as one of only 15 women who would compete Sunday night in Atlantic City, Harrison proclaimed her as “Lucky No. 13.” Later, she appeared to slip during the evening gown competition.

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Cantrell will take a break in her studies at Mercer during her reign as Miss America and will have $50,000 in scholarships to further her training to fulfill her dream of performing on Broadway.