Miss Universe 2012 crowned: Congrats, Olivia Culpo!

Olivia Culpo is the luckiest (and most determined) girl in the world.

Miss Universe Olivia Culpo with Donald TrumpMiss Universe is more than just a title, it’s actually a well-paying job.

Aside from an undisclosed salary, the winner is also treated to the kind of extensive wardrobe that would even make Barbie jealous, insane amounts of beauty products (she has to keep her hair looking stellar), and a luxury apartment in Manhattan… no doubt somewhere in or near one of Donald Trump‘s many real estate investments.

This year, that lucky girl is Rhode Island’s Olivia Culpo. Pretty good for an off-the-cuff idea.

Culpo was never a pageant girl. When she told her family she was entering the Miss Rhode Island competition last year, it was the first time Olivia had shown interest in such things.

“We didn’t know a thing about pageants,” her father told Newsday.

The stunning Olivia won Miss Rhode Island in a $20 rented dress (with a hole in it). It wasn’t until after she became Miss Rhode Island that she began any other prep. But she knew she’d need it if she wanted to win Miss USA, too. She took to dieting, working out, and studying her current events flashcards with the same dogged determination that led to her mastering the cello as a second-grader.

This girl is on fire.

Even after a minor stumble on the big night, Olivia Culpo managed to pull off the victory. Her kind, inspiring answer during the interview portion just before she was crowned probably helped. When Culpo was asked if she had any regrets, she knew just the right answer.

“I’d like to start off by saying that every experience no matter what it is, good or bad, you’ll learn from it. That’s just life,” she said. “But something I’ve done I’ve regretted is probably picking on my siblings growing up, because you appreciate them so much more as you grow older.”

In winning Miss Universe, Olivia will no longer perform her Miss USA duties. Her Miss USA runner-up, Miss Maryland Nana Meriwether, will now take over that title. Before Culpo’s win, an American had not claimed the Miss Universe title since Brook Lee in 1997.

The pageant returned to Las Vegas this year after 2011’s show was held in Sao Paulo. NBC aired the pageant, which was streamed in more than 100 countries. Singer CeeLo Green and San Francisco Giants’ Pablo Sandoval were among the 10 judges. Twenty-year-old Olivia Culpo, a sophomore at Boston University, beat out 88 competitors to take home the title.

Congratulations, Olivia Miss Universe!

Image courtesy of WENN.com