America's Next Top Model contestant Ann Ward — who made headlines earlier this year when a judge showed he could fit both his hands around her tiny waist — was crowned winner of the CW show Wednesday.
"When I saw that I was the winner, I really choked up," the 6"2 Dallas native, 19, told UsMagazine.com after the show. "It was really emotional for me because I've been through a lot. I wasn't expecting to win. It totally caught me off guard."
In addition to landing a modeling contract and a spread in Italian Vogue, Ward walks away with a $100,000 Cover Girl cosmetics contract.
"I'm going to invest in my career," she told Us. "Like, going to New York or wherever they want to take me. I don't want to blow it. I might splurge on video games because I'm a nerd like that."
Ward's wafer-thin frame came under attack in August when a show promo featured judge Miss J Alexander putting his hands around her miniscule midsection. "You have the smallest waist in the world," host Tyra Banks told her. "Look at that waist!" (Banks, 37, later said she was "sorry for the style in which the Top Model promo clip was presented.")
The hoopla likely didn't faze Ward, who has said she was scrutinized for her unusual appearance when she was younger.
"I feel way more confident than before, but I know that I have more work to do," she told Us after her big win.
Has she gotten a positive reaction from anyone who used to tease her?
"I haven't had anyone apologize to me or anything," said the single model. "But I have had a lot more friend requests on Facebook."