The Cherry Blossom Queen of 1951 was Maldi Tarris of Wyoming shown here standing next to the Wheel of Fortune that landed on her state. Since 1948, the queen has been chosen from among the state princesses by this random process. Every year since 1973, the queen has been invited to visit Japan by the Japan Cherry Blossom Association.
President Jimmy Carter said to NCSS cherry blossom princesses on March 31, 1977 that, referring to the wheel, he liked the idea of choosing the queen by lot. Then he added:
“I think this might be a good thing for some of the primaries to adopt in future Presidential elections--just spin a wheel--and it would be a lot cheaper.”