Miss Hawaii USA Stripped of Crown; at 25, She's Too Old

Associated Press

Tina Marie Machado has lost her Miss Hawaii USA crown after less than a week. Pageant officials said she is too old at 25 and won by mistake.

Machado was told Tuesday to step down in favor of Toni Leimomi Costa, 18, runner-up in the pageant last week.

Pageant director Gay Zuercher said Miss Hawaii USA entrants must be under 25 and it was an error when Machado--who turned 25 in November--was allowed to enter. Zuercher called the mistake "a disappointing turn of events" but added, "Nobody's perfect."

Machado, who already had given up her job at the Honolulu Board of Realtors because her employer feared she would miss too much work, said: "Yesterday I had a crown and a job. Now I have nothing. I'm very confused. I won't give it up this easily."

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