Miss Universe 2012: Miss USA Olivia Culpo Wins

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Miss USA, Olivia Culpo walks on stage after being named Miss Universe 2012 during the Miss Universe Pageant at Planet Hollywood in Las Vegas, Nevada on December 19, 2012. 

America is back on top after Miss USA Olivia Culpo took home the coveted Miss Universe crown Wednesday night.

The Boston University sophomore couldn’t stop beaming as she was crowned the winner ahead of runner-up – Miss Philippines, Janine Tugonon, 23 – and the third place winner, Miss Venezuela, Irene Sofia Esser Quintero, 21.

“What an honor! This night was a dream come true. Thank you everyone for your support tonight!! USA finally did it!” she tweeted immediately following her win.

Olivia Culpo Swimsuit
Miss USA, Olivia Culpo, competes in the swimsuit competition during the 2012 Miss Universe pageant at Planet Hollywood December 19, 2012 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Miss USA, Olivia Culpo was crowned Miss Universe 2012, beating out beauties from around the world to claim the coveted title.

Culpo, 20, beat out 88 other young women from all around the globe to snag the title, making her the first Miss Universe winner from the United States in 15 years, since Miss Hawaii Brook Lee’s win in 1997.

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Last year’s winner, Leila Lopes, hailed from Angola.

Culpo won the Miss USA crown as Miss Rhode Island back in June, emphasizing music education and breast cancer awareness.

Olivia Culpo USA
Miss USA 2012, Olivia Culpo, is introduced during the 2012 Miss Universe Pageant at PH Live at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino on December 19, 2012 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Her answer to Wednesday night’s interview portion of the competition was a little more lighthearted, however. When asked whether she had ever done anything she regretted, Culpo had a ready answer.

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“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.”

Olivia Culpo crowned
Miss USA 2012, Olivia Culpo (L), reacts as she is crowned the 2012 Miss Universe by Leila Lopes, Miss Universe 2011, during the 2012 Miss Universe Pageant at PH Live at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino on December 19, 2012 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

The annual competition was broadcast live from the Planet Hollywood hotel and casino in Las Vegas.

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