TRENTON, NJ—Lacey Lauderdale, a 25-year-old cocktail waitress at the Showboat Casino & Hotel in Atlantic City, was named the winner of the 2008 Mistress USA Pageant, a competition held each year since 1954 to honor the country's most beautiful and talented other women.

The clandestine pageant took place Sunday evening in a New Jersey motel room off Exit 23, shortly after the nation's males told their wives they were going out bowling with some friends. Sixty-three mistresses—one representing each state and 14 representing Carson City, NV—competed for the coveted crown, traditionally awarded to the woman who best exemplifies the qualities of youth, sexiness, and having large breasts.

"We are proud to present Ms. Lauderdale with the grand prize of one year's rent, a basket of erotic massage oils, and this red lace undergarment, which she must try on right now," said the Mistress USA chairman, who identified himself only as "Mr. R." "Lacey, we admire you for your dedication to not getting emotionally involved with the nation, and for your willingness to do things my wife would never try in a million years. Now twirl around a little so we can get the view from the back."

The 62 losing contestants were then told to get lost.

Lauderdale became eligible to enter the Mistress USA Pageant last October, when she was crowned Miss One-Night Stand New Jersey. She joined a field of mistresses from all different backgrounds and walks of life—waitresses, secretaries, hostesses, and even bar girls. Lauderdale excelled in nearly every event, including the swimsuit competition, the evening-wear- removal competition, and giving hand jobs.

She also received the high score from judges Adam Carolla, 47-year-old accountant Cy Weintraub from Chicago, and former New York City mayor Rudolph Giuliani. The mistresses were rated in areas such as firmness/roundness of breasts, color of hair, level of economic dependence, willingness to answer to the name "Hazel," and then their breasts again. The talent portion of the competition was phased out in 1974.

"I can't believe I went from being a cocktail waitress to being Mistress USA," Lauderdale said after the ceremony. "Dreams do come true."

While she received the highest score in pageant history, Lauderdale faltered in the Q&A portion of the competition, giving less than satisfactory answers to the hypothetical questions "How would you act if you ever ran into me and my wife at the grocery store?" and "How many times have I told you not to call the house phone?!"

Last year's Mistress USA, Tiffani Saunders of Miami, was on hand at the event to present Lauderdale with the ceremonial Mistress USA sash and cab fare home.

"I think Lacey will do a fine job as Mistress USA," said Saunders, who has been instructed to go live with her mother and raise the kid on her own. "I just hope she knows that while the job can be fun at times, it is also really, really exhausting work."

On Friday, Lauderdale embarks on a nationwide tour, during which she will meet with admiring men from around the country in roadside hotels, shopping-mall bathrooms, and other discreet locations. Historically, the main duties of Mistress USA have included standing there and looking pretty, not giving American males a hard time, light clerical work, and keeping her damn mouth shut.

Though most men claimed they "could not wait" to meet Mistress USA, some were disappointed with the decision.

"I would have preferred Mistress Missouri, just because she's a little bit closer," said a Missouri husband and father of two who wished to remain anonymous. "But honestly, I'm just excited about the possibility of having sex with someone who is not my wife."

He added: "After all, that's what this competition is all about."

Just two days after being awarded the title, however, Lauderdale's Cinderella story was mired in controversy when the New York Post revealed that the new Mistress USA had never worked as a stripper.