She was a contender, at least in hearts and headlines.
At 16, Malala Yousafzai would have become the youngest recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize, if she had been awarded it Friday. In addition, she would have been the youngest winner ever of a Nobel Prize in any category.
Instead, the Norwegian Nobel Committee awarded it to the international chemical weapons watchdog that is destroying poison gas stockpiles in Syria -- the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons.
Malala apparently feels like the OPCW deserves it. A message went out on a Twitter account representing her to congratulate the OPCW and thank it for its "wonderful work for humanity."
The activist from Pakistan, who has stood defiant against the Taliban in the face of death since age 11, has become a global figurehead for a girl's right to an education.
A year ago, an Islamist militant shot her in the head. It looked like she would die. This week, headlines cheered for her to win the peace prize.
She was modest about her own prospects of winning and felt receiving the prize at this point in her life would be premature, she told CNN's Christiane Amanpour in an interview that airs Sunday at 7 p.m.
"I think that it's really an early age," Malala said.
But there's always later. She wants to do more to earn it first.
"I would feel proud, when I would work for education, when I would have done something, when I would be feeling confident to tell people, 'Yes! I have built that school; I have done that teachers' training, I have sent that (many) children to school,' " she said.
"Then if I get the Nobel Peace Prize, I will be saying, Yeah, I deserve it, somehow."
The comment drew warm laughter from the audience.
Malala for Prime Minister
Despite her diffidence with regards to the peace prize, Malala is very ambitious.
"I want to become a Prime Minister of Pakistan, and I think it's really good. Because through politics I can serve my whole county. I can be the doctor of the whole country," she said.
But greedier politicians be forewarned. If Malala held the highest office in the land, the money would probably not flow into the pockets of cronies or pork barrel projects. Her political ambitions seem to stop short of personal gain.
"I can spend much of the money from the budget on education," she told Amanpour. It appears that becoming prime minister is a means to the end she has dedicated her life to.
Malala has accomplished much for education in her short life, which she has imperiled to do so.
The Taliban didn't want girls to go to school. They banned it in 2009 in her native Swat Valley, which is when Malala's plight and her activism began.
Her father, a teacher who ran schools for girls, taught her that she was stronger than what or whom she feared.
She kept going to school and speaking out for education, and she wrote an anonymous blog for the BBC about her harrowing experiences. The Taliban came by on house raids, and she had to hide her books.
Her country honored her with the National Peace Prize in 2011 for standing up to them.
Her defiance enraged the militants.
A year ago, on October 9, 2012, they sent a gunman after her, while she was riding home from school. He stopped the improvised school bus and stepped inside.