Nia Sanchez
Nia Sanchez 2010.jpg
Sanchez at Miss California pageant, Rancho Mirage, California on November 21, 2010
Born (1990-02-15) February 15, 1990 (age 32)
Height5 ft 7 in (1.70 m)[citation needed]
(m. 2015)
Beauty pageant titleholder
TitleMiss Nevada USA 2014
Miss USA 2014
Hair colorBrown
Eye colorHazel
Miss California USA 2010
(2nd Runner-up)
Miss Nevada USA 2014
Miss USA 2014
Miss Universe 2014
(1st Runner-Up)

Nia Temple Sanchez Booko (born February 15, 1990) is an American model, television presenter, and beauty pageant titleholder who won Miss USA 2014.[2] Sanchez is the first contestant from Nevada to be crowned Miss USA.[3] She represented the United States in the Miss Universe 2014 competition on January 25, 2015, and placed 1st runner-up.[4]

Early life

Nia Sanchez was born in Sacramento, California on February 15, 1990, to David Sanchez,[5] a military veteran born in a military base in Germany, and mother Nicole Sanford, who was born in a military base in Iran.[6][7] Her paternal grandfather, Wilbur Sanchez, is Mexican and her paternal grandmother is German, while her mother is of Spanish, and other European mixture.[7][8] Her parents divorced when she was 6 and she briefly lived in a women's shelter with her mother.[9][10][11] When she was eight she and her brother (David, Jr.), moved to Menifee, California with their father, and she went on to graduate from Paloma Valley High School in 2008.[5]


Her first beauty pageant was the Miss San Jacinto Valley, which she entered when she was 13; at 19, she won Miss Citrus Valley USA, which qualified her to take part in the Miss Turismo Latino competition in Ecuador in 2009.[7]

Miss California USA

Sanchez first competed in the Miss California USA 2010 pageant (as Miss Citrus Valley USA) and was second runner-up out of 133 contestants, losing to eventual titleholder Nicole Johnson.[5][12] Sanchez has also competed in and won Miss Riverside County USA 2011 and Miss Hollywood USA 2012,[5] both of which resulted in unsuccessful Miss California USA bids.[13]

Miss Nevada USA

As Miss South Las Vegas USA, Sanchez was crowned as Miss Nevada USA by Chelsea Caswell on January 12, 2014, at Artemus W. Ham Concert Hall at University of Nevada, Las Vegas, winning the title on her first attempt.[7]

Miss USA 2014

Sanchez represented Nevada at Miss USA 2014 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana and was crowned as the winner by outgoing titleholder Erin Brady of Connecticut on June 8, 2014, beating 2nd runner-up Tiana Griggs of Georgia and 1st runner-up Audra Mari of North Dakota. During the final question portion of the competition, she was asked by judge Rumer Willis about the high rate of sexual assault among undergraduate women to which she responded that it is important to be able to defend yourself.[14] She was the first Miss Nevada USA contestant to win Miss USA and the fourth Hispanic to win Miss USA after Laura Harring in 1985, Lynnette Cole in 2000, and Susie Castillo in 2003.[9] This was the first time since Miss USA 2007 that the contest had not been held in Nevada.[15]


After winning Miss USA, a carpetbagger controversy arose regarding her claimed Nevada residence. After failing to win Miss California USA in 2010, 2011 and 2012, Sanchez reportedly created a paper trail to establish her eligibility to compete in Miss Nevada USA. Supposedly Sanchez had worked at Disneyland until November 2013 and had become Miss Nevada USA in January 2014, although competition rules state that Miss Nevada USA eligibility requires six months residency in the state as evidenced by two documents from "voter ID or registration card, tax return, school records, employment documents, telephone bill, utility bill, bank statement, credit card statement or lease/deed." Sanchez is reported to have spoken with Miss Nevada USA pageant director Shanna Moakler to determine the minimum eligibility requirements. Sanchez is represented by AC Talent Agency, which has Las Vegas and Los Angeles offices, but is listed as based in Los Angeles. Sanchez has stated that she owns a home in Las Vegas and listed herself as based in Los Angeles as a marketing ploy due to the types of opportunities available in Los Angeles relative to those available in Las Vegas.[13]

Miss Universe 2014

Sanchez represented the United States at Miss Universe 2014 which was held January 25, 2015, at the U.S. Century Bank Arena on the site of the Florida International University in Doral, Miami, Florida and finished as 1st runner-up[citation needed] to Paulina Vega of Colombia.[citation needed]

Sanchez's first-runner up placement on Miss Universe is the highest achievement of the United States since Olivia Culpo won Miss Universe 2012.[citation needed]

Personal life

Sanchez is a fifth[16]-degree black belt in taekwondo,[17] which she began practicing when she was 8 years old.[18] She was the first Miss USA ever featured on the cover of Tae Kwon Do Times Magazine.[19] She also studied jazz and ballet for five years.[7] At age 17, she visited Kenya, and after her high school graduation she spent time working as a nanny in Europe. She had visited 12 countries around the world before becoming Miss Nevada USA.[5][18] She spends three months of the year serving on a mission in Mexico.[7] She acted in the roles of various Disney princess characters at Hong Kong Disneyland where she worked for seven months in 2012.[7][20]

Sanchez began dating actor Daniel Booko before she won Miss Nevada USA.[9] Booko proposed to Sanchez on a private terrace in New York City in October 2014.[citation needed] The couple married on October 17, 2015, in Temecula, California.[21] They welcomed a baby boy, Asher Daniel Booko on November 10, 2021.


  1. ^
  2. ^ "Nia Sanchez - Pageant Planet". Retrieved January 9, 2019.
  3. ^ "Miss USA & Teen USA 2014 - Pageant Planet". Retrieved January 9, 2019.
  4. ^ "Miss Universe 2014 - Pageant Planet". Retrieved January 9, 2019.
  5. ^ a b c d e "Menifee Home Town Beauty to compete in Miss USA Contest". May 27, 2014. Retrieved June 9, 2014.
  6. ^ Miss USA (July 17, 2014). "10 Things That You Didn't Know About Nia Sanchez, Miss USA 2014" – via YouTube.
  7. ^ a b c d e f g Leach, Robin (January 14, 2014). "2014 Miss Nevada USA photos: From women's shelter to Hong Kong Disneyland to title for Nia Sanchez". Las Vegas Sun. Archived from the original on May 25, 2014. Retrieved June 9, 2014.
  8. ^ Sway's Universe (June 16, 2014). "Miss USA Nia Sanchez On Being Homeless, Pageants Benefiting Young Girls & Her Boyfriend's Support" – via YouTube.
  9. ^ a b c Leach, Robin (March 4, 2014). "Photos: Nia Sanchez aims to be first Nevada winner of Miss USA Pageant". Las Vegas Sun. Archived from the original on June 11, 2014. Retrieved June 9, 2014.
  10. ^ STACEY PLAISANCE (April 20, 2011). "Miss Nevada Nia Sanchez crowned as 63rd Miss USA - Yahoo Celebrity". Archived from the original on June 9, 2014. Retrieved June 9, 2014.
  11. ^ "Members". Retrieved June 9, 2014.
  12. ^ "No "Inappropriate" Moments During Miss California USA® 2010". November 24, 2009. Retrieved June 10, 2014.
  13. ^ a b McKay, Hollie (June 12, 2014). "Miss USA: 'No truth' to allegations she switched states to win Miss Nevada". FOX News. Retrieved June 13, 2014.
  14. ^ Plaisance, Stacey (June 8, 2014). "Miss Nevada Nia Sanchez Crowned as 63rd Miss USA". ABC News. Associated Press. Archived from the original on June 16, 2014. Retrieved June 9, 2014.
  15. ^ Leach, Robin (June 9, 2014). "Miss USA Nia Sanchez of Nevada: 'It's going to be a great year—this is all a wonderful dream'". Las Vegas Sun. Retrieved June 10, 2014.
  16. ^, Aaron Reiss. "Miss USA cites sport for success". Colorado Springs Gazette. Retrieved August 11, 2019.
  17. ^ "Miss Nevada Nia Sanchez Is Crowned Miss USA 2014". People. Associated Press. June 8, 2014. Archived from the original on June 9, 2014. Retrieved June 9, 2014.
  18. ^ a b Kaur, Jaskiran (June 10, 2014). "Miss USA 2014 Winner: Find Out Who is Nia Sanchez; Everything to Know About the Winning Beauty [Photo]". International Business Times. Archived from the original on June 10, 2014. Retrieved June 10, 2014.
  19. ^ Zirogiannis, Marc (September 2014). "Miss USA Nia Sanchez". Tae KwonDo Times Magazine (September 2014): 31–35.
  20. ^ Blum, Jeremy (June 10, 2014). "Life's a fairytale: Former Hong Kong Disneyland princess wins Miss USA title". South China Morning Post.
  21. ^ "Miss USA Nia Sanchez Nevada weekend wedding". October 14, 2015. Archived from the original on November 20, 2015. Retrieved November 20, 2015.
Awards and achievements Preceded by Patricia Rodríguez Miss Universe 1st Runner-Up 2014 Succeeded by Pia Wurtzbach Preceded by Erin Brady Miss USA 2014 Succeeded by Olivia Jordan Preceded byChelsea Caswell Miss Nevada USA 2014 Succeeded byBrittany McGowan