And the winner is … Playboy revealed its 2016 Playmate of the Year on Wednesday, May 11, bestowing the honor upon model Eugena Washington. The stunner was previously honored as Playmate of the Month in December 2015.
Washington told Us Weekly during a Facebook Live chat Wednesday (watch the full interview above) she’s excited for the opportunity — even if she wasn’t sure what was happening at first!
“I got tricked!” she revealed to Us. “Two execs from Playboy called me and said, ’Eugena, we need you for a casting in the studio, it’s very important. Be on time.’ They had this chair sitting in the middle of the room for me and they said, ‘I need to talk to you’ and I was thinking, ‘I’m in trouble!’ And then they told me I was Playmate of the Year! It was so exciting.”
The model, 31, also holds the distinction of being the third black Playmate to be given the iconic title. (Renee Tenison, 1990 Playmate of the Year, and Ida Ljungqvist, 2009 Playmate of the Year, preceded her).
“That’s pretty cool. I’m still wrapping my head around it,” the South Carolina native told Us. “I always say, if you’re going to do something, go big. I think now is a great time for the world to see different forms of beauty and just have a taste of diversity.”
Fans know Washington best from where she got her big break a decade ago, as a contestant on America’s Next Top Model, where she finished in as the second runner-up in cycle 7. She’s now trying her hand at acting, having had a recurring role on The Bold and the Beautiful as well as in the film The Perfect Match.
In addition to the PMOY title, the model and actress will receive $100,000 and a two-year lease on a 2017 Fiat 124 Spider. Washington is the magazine’s 57th Playmate of the Year. Last year’s honoree was Dani Mathers.
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