Eugena Washington named 2016 Playboy Playmate of the Year


Playboy just picked their newest leading lady!

Eugena Washington was crowned the 2016 Playboy Playmate of the Year at the Playboy Mansion in Beverly Hills on Wednesday and the former "America's Next Top Model" contestant is absolutely stunning in her California-cool 10-page spread.

The 31-year-old model, who hails from Southern California, confessed in an exclusive interview with AOL Entertainment that she was initially in shock when she heard the news that she was Playmate of the Year.

Playboy execs convinced Washington to come meet them at at studio in Los Angeles about two months ago, but they didn't give her much information beyond that.

"They sat me down in this chair and they said, 'Eugena, we really need to talk to you," she shared. "I thought I was in trouble."

The scenario was so confusing that she joked that she couldn't decide if she was in trouble or if she was Playmate of the Year -- and just now the news is finally sinking in.

"I was like, Oh my God!' It's still hitting me right now," she said before adding that becoming Playmate of the Year was something she never planned for. "I don't take my life like that. I don't plan too hard because you'll miss blessings along the way that don't go along with your plans ... You have to go along with what life gives you."

And Eugena is definitely making her mark within the Playboy family. Not only does she have the first non-nude Playmate of the Year pictorial since the magazine moved in a different direction in February 2016, she's also the third black woman to snag the honor of Playboy Playmate of the Year.

"I think it's great. It's all about timing. I think the world is changing and I think we're seeing different visions and images of beauty and I think that everyone is accepting of each other. I think it is just a great time to have some diversity in the company. Not to say that there wasn't before, because Hef is definitely an advocate for civil rights. Hef definitely fought a lot for civil rights, but people need to see that. And I think this is a time where people see that he is accepting of all people. I am excited about it."

In her pictorial, shot by photographer Jason Lee Parry, the gorgeous model is posed in a variety of California-esque scenarios and it has a very 1960s, retro vibe. In several photographs, she's posed poolside with her long black hair down by her side and with a floppy hat. In another she's relaxed on a bed with a striped blanket, that gives the aura of an era gone by.

PHOTOS: Inside Eugena Washington's Playboy spread (Nudity warning)

In her cover photo, Washington is stretched out on an orange floaty in a pool with a cocktail in her hand, and her 5-foot-9-inch frame is on full display. And while she looks absolutely gorgeous, she admitted, she was actually freezing during the shoot.

"It was cold. I thought I was going to freeze to death. It was like the one and only cold day in LA that the Lord provided for me to shoot nude in a pool. It was overcast, it was rainy and it was windy. I was in there at least an hour."

How did she get through it? "Mind over matter. It's a Jedi mind trick."

Washington's spread and her bubbly, outgoing personality are a refreshing look for Playboy. And, let's face it, how can the brand go wrong with Washington, whose nickname is "Pie" because she's sweet as pie!

PHOTOS: Eugena Washington snags a 2017 Fiat Spider after winning Playmate of the Year

Originally published