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Miss USA Nia Sanchez denies allegations that she switched states for easier win

Nia Sanchez defends her residency.
Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images

While Nia Sanchez is happily wearing the Miss USA crown, not everyone is joining in on her happiness. The pageant queen has recently been accused of strategically switching states to snag the sought after title. A People article dated Mon. June 16 however shared her side of the story.

The debate arose because Sanchez, 24, represented Nevada when she took home the national title last week. The problem? She worked at Disneyland and competed for Miss California USA in 2010, 2011 and 2012. The argument is that Miss California has 100-200 contestants, while Miss Nevada only had 33. Based on residency records, one is quick to think Sanchez is more of a California resident than a Nevada one. Sanchez isn't the first pageant contestant to be accused of being a state jumping crown chaser, and she won't be the last. However, she stands by her defense.

"I have lived in Nevada since fall of 2012 and it was an honor for me to represent the state at Miss USA," she said in a statement Monday. "I have traveled my entire life and lived all over the world, including Germany, Hong Kong and Abu Dhabi, in addition to Washington State, California, Nevada and now, as Miss USA, I live in New York for the first time in my life."

The controversy blew up when a source alleged to Fox News that Sanchez had left "some minimum paper trail."

But in another statement, the Miss Universe Organization stood by Sanchez’s win.

"Nia Sanchez was issued a Nevada driver’s license in January of 2013, a full year before she competed at the Miss Nevada USA pageant," the statement read. "The Miss Universe Organization has no reason to question her residency and we are thrilled to welcome her to the organization and look forward to working with her in the coming year."

Whether or not Sanchez was everyone's top choice for the win, she does in fact meet the requirements, so she will likely be holding on to her sash. With that said, her next goal is Miss Universe. Stay tuned!

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