Miss Wisconsin Crowned Miss America 2012
Miss America, Laura Kaeppeler
Miss Wisconsin Laura Kaeppeler is the new Miss America.
Kaeppeler, 23, will receive a $50,000 scholarship and will represent the pageant for the next year. For her talent, she performed operatic vocals at Saturday night's competition, held at Las Vegas' Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino and hosted by Chris Harrison.
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Kaeppeler said she will focus on emphasizing the importance of education and plans to use her winning scholarship money to go to law school, according to People. Kaeppeler is only the second Miss Wisconsin to win the competition in its 91-year history.
The two-hour pageant — which once attracted tens of millions of viewers and was one of the most-watched annual events on television — averaged 6.68 million people on ABC and a 1.8 rating among 18-to-49-year-olds, a 13 percent increase vs. last year.