Raquel Pomplun Named Playboy Playmate of the Year

Raquel Pomplun, Playboy's Playmate of the Year, is the first Mexican-American to earn the title. Paul Archuleta/FilmMagic

There's no denying that Raquel Pomplun is beautiful. But that's not the reason she landed Playboy's coveted Playmate of the Year title — at least, not the only reason.

Playboy founder Hugh Hefner raved about the April 2012 cover girl at a luncheon in her honor on Thursday, May 9, at the Playboy Mansion in Holmby Hills, Calif., where he announced the news and revealed Pomplun's June PMOY cover.

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"This year's Playmate of the Year is a winner in every way," the 87-year-old magazine mogul said in his introduction, adding that Pomplun is the first Mexican-American to be chosen for the honor. "Since becoming Miss April, Raquel has become extremely popular through personal appearances…She's been a host on Playboy Radio's Playboy Club and Playboy Presents. She's a member of the Playboy Dancers. She's also appeared as a host on Black Belt TV — so don't mess around with her!"

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Us Weekly caught up with both Hefner and Pomplun at the event to find out what the PMOY title means to each of them. "[This honor is] a reflection of not only Raquel's beauty but her personality as well," Hefner told Us. "She's gorgeous! But then all the Playmates are gorgeous. I think what sets her apart is that little extra something. She's so good with people, and that's part of what being a Playmate of the Year is all about."

"It's overwhelming!" Pomplun, 25, added. "But I can take it. It's a very big honor to be representing such an iconic brand. I'm the 54th Playmate of the Year! And it's so cool. I'm so happy."

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As is Hefner. But not just because of his June 2013 cover girl. The Playboy founder has another No. 1 lady in his life: wife Crystal Harris, whom he married in December 2012.

"She's a great girl," Hef told Us of his bride, adding that life hadn't actually changed that much since their wedding. "I think because we've actually been together quite a while, it was kind of seamless. We are so happy. We are lovers and best friends, and now we're married and it all makes sense."

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