Betty Jane Welch reluctantly enters the Miss Delaware contest to make her mother happy and, surprisingly, finds herself to be the judges' choice. Just like that, she's catapulted into the Miss America Pageant in Atlantic City. Her pageant-approved escort for the week is the dashing, mercurial Griffin McAllister, and she falls for him hard. But when she unexpectedly wins the crown, she finds she may lose what she wants most: Griff. In order to protect his darkest secret, Griff must run, so Betty recklessly agrees to run, too. With the cops and a scrappy reporter in pursuit, the chase begins, taking them from the carnival of the Boardwalk to the streets of Manhattan and a cliffside mansion in Newport, and it threatens to unravel everything.