Dayana Mendoza 22 , Miss Venezuela was crowned as Miss Universe 2008, She crowned before up to one billion television viewers at the Miss Universe pageant held in Vietnam on Monday.
The final five contestants included four from Latin America: Miss Mexico, Miss Dominican Republic, Miss Colombia and Miss Venezuela. Rounding out the final five was Miss Russia.
Dayana Mendoza, 22, burst into tears when the presenter, US talk show host Jerry Springer, announced she had beaten finalists.
Miss Colombia finished second behind Mendoza. Miss Thailand won the prize for best national costume and Miss El Salvador was chosen by her peers as Miss Congeniality.
During her interview with the judges, Mendoza was asked who she thought has it easier in life, women or men.
"Men think that the fastest way to go to a point is to go straight," explained the trilingual aspiring interior designer. "Women know that the faster way to go to a point is to go to the curves."
Eighty contestants gathered in the seaside city of Nha Trang, Vietnam, vying to succeed reigning Miss Universe Riyo Mori of Japan.
The show has been a publicity bonanza for Vietnam, where beauty contests are very popular. The contest featured segments on many of the nation's most popular tourist destinations, such as Hue, Hoi An, Sapa and Ha Long Bay.
The programme set has been dominated by iconic Vietnamese images, such as bamboo trees, conical hats and lotus flowers.
"When we were young we studied and we saw Vietnam as a country with wars and troubles," she said.
"But once I got here, I realised that it's just like being in Venezuela. It doesn't matter what happens, you always have a reason for smiling. We share the same will to be great countries. I like it, I love it."Mendoza added