- (Photo: Reuters)
Miss Universe 2012 has received her crown during the 61st anniversary of the pageant in Las Vegas on Thursday.
Olivia Culpo took the crown from last year's Miss Universe Leila Lopes of Angola, as the winner of the international beauty contest defeating 88 others from six continents.
The title is the 20-year-old Rhode Island native's second this year - Culpo is also won the Miss USA 2012 pageant.
The Boston University student also won the 2012 Miss Rhode Island USA competition, which was the first pageant she entered.
When Culpo announced that she was competing in the Miss Rhode Island contest, many were surprised.
"We didn't know a thing about pageants," explained Culpo's father, Peter, according to ABC News.
Culpo is the first contestant from the USA to win the Miss Universe title in 15 years.
After the show, Culpo, donning her white gold crown while speaking to reporters, noted the deadly shooting in Newtown, Connecticut last week.
"It's such an honor to be representing the U.S.A. in an international beauty contest in spite of all the tragedy that's happened in this country lately," said the student. "I really hope that this will raise everybody's spirits a little."
Raised in Cranston, R.I., Culpo is the daughter of two musicians and plays the cello. This year's Miss Universe will receive an undisclosed salary, a full wardrobe, and a luxury apartment in New York City.
After Culpo became the Miss Universe title, Miss Maryland Nana Meriwether then became the new Miss USA.
Hosting the live Miss Universe pageant on Thursday was E! News host Giuliana Rancic and "Watch What Happens Live" host Andy Cohen.
The pageant is part of business magnate Donald Trump's empire.