Comedy Education

“How is This Still a Thing?”

John Oliver and his crew dug into the tax records of the Miss America pageant and found that they’ve been lying scholarships to the tune of millions of dollars.

What Oliver and his crew discovered was that the Miss America pageant doesn’t actually dish out $45 million in scholarships each year. They hand out just under $4 million per year and arrive at the $45 million number by combining every single contestant who was eligible even if they didn’t attend a school that a scholarship was offered for.

When we contacted Troy [University], it turns out the pageant got to that $2.6 million dollars by multiplying the scholarship by 48; the number of competitors who could theoretically accept it, even though the actual number of contestants who accepted a scholarship that here was — and you are not going to believe this — zero. Absolute zero. Meaning that the difference between the money they provided, and the money they awarded, was all of the money they provided.

Oliver goes on to make the point that, even though the Miss America pageant is lying about the amount, they’re still the biggest provider of scholarships for women, which is depressing.

This isn’t just comedy. It’s journalism.