Just a few months ago Olivia Culpo was finishing her sophomore year at Boston University.
Now she's Miss Universe.
"Is this a dream? That’s really what my first thought was," Culpo told Metro in a phone interview this morning. "You turn around and you are completely swarmed by 88 beautiful women from around the world … it all happened so fast and it was so random and was such a close call. It was really incredible."
Olivia Culpo won Wednesday night's competition at the Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino in Las Vegas. The live event was viewed by about 1 billion people across the world, organizers said.
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The 20-year-old from Rhode Island won the Miss USA title in June just after finishing her sophomore year at BU.
She will now receive a salary, wardrobe, a luxury apartment in New York City and travel the world.
When asked what she would miss most about Boston as she begins her reign as an international beauty queen Culpo said running along the Charles River – something she would do during her time in Boston "all the time."
As for her tenure at BU, Culpo said that’s up in the air right now. She told Metro after her win as Miss USA that she planned to take a year off to fulfill her responsibilities over the next year.
"I have to think about it, but now my reign is extended so much I really have to think about what I want to do. It’s still up in the air. I’m not sure yet," she said.
While Culpo wasn't sure what won the competition for her, she does know that she wasn't happy with the question she was asked in the final round.
"To be honest with you [the question I got] wasn't the greatest. I don't think, I just didn't feel the depth. It wasn't anything I wanted to answer. I was upset it wasn't challenging or hot topic enough. It was a little bland. Everybody does things that they regret," she said.
For her final question, Culpo was asked: "What is something you have done that you would never do again?"
"Every experience no matter what it is, good or bad, you will learn from it. That's just life. But something I've done and regretted would probably be picking on my siblings while growing up because you appreciate them so much more as you grow older, you get closer with your family, but everybody fights with their siblings, right? But I don’t regret it," she said laughing.
The winner of Miss Universe typically uses the notoriety to advance personal and humanitarian goals. As Miss USA, Culpo has become a spokeswoman for breast cancer awareness.
Culpo said she will now work to bring awareness to the HIV/AIDS epidemic.