Miss USA Olivia Culpo is crowned Miss Universe
Miss USA Olivia Culpo is crowned Miss Universe

Miss USA, Olivia Culpo, was crowned Miss Universe 2012 at Las Vegas' Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino, beating 88 other contestants.

"I'm dreaming, it's a dream," the 20 year beauty queen from Rhode Island said, after winning the pageant. Culpo received the crown from Miss Universe 2011, Leila Lopes of Angola.

Culpo is now the first American since 1997 to win this title and for the next year she will travel the world, representing the Miss Universe Organisation and a charity of her choice. She was crowned Miss Rhode Island USA 2012 on 18 September, on her pageant debut.

During the interview round, Culpo was asked, by Ximena Navarrete, Miss Universe 2010, if she regretted any one incident from her past.

"First 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," Culpo, who is the middle child of five, said, "But something I've done that I've probably regretted would be picking on my siblings growing up because you appreciate them so much more when you're older, you get closer with your family. Everybody fights with their siblings, right?! But I don't regret it."

Miss Philippines, Janine Tugonon, was first runner-up and Miss Venezuela, Irene Sofia Esser Quintero, the second. Miss Australia, Renae Ayris, was fourth and Miss Brazil, Gabriela Markus, rounded out the top five.

Special awards were given to Miss Guatemala's Laura Godoy - Miss Congeniality; Miss Kosovo's Diana Avdiu - Miss Photogenic; and Miss China's Wen Xia Yu - Best National Costume. And other competitions and events held during this Miss Universe 2012 pageant were - Evening Gown competition, Swimsuit competition and the National Gift Auction.