Raquel Pomplun from Chula Vista, California, was announced as Playboy’s new Playmate of the Year on Thursday.
In keeping with tradition, the 25-year-old, who was raised in Tijuana, Mexico, and studied biochemistry at Southwestern College, was awarded $100,000 in prize money as well as a one-year lease on a 2014 Jaguar F-TYPE.
What’s more, the model, who is also classically trained as a ballerina, proudly made history as the first-ever Mexican-American woman to be given the honor.
The model, Raquel Pomplun, 24, gave an interview published Wednesday to Diez4 magazine in Tijuana in which she described how she ended up on the cover with Bruno Mars.
“I don’t believe it! I have to pinch myself,” she told the magazine of appearing in Playboy.
She said she answered a casting call last May by submitting some file photos. Then she got a phone call from Playboy letting her know that they were interested in her. That was followed by tests, interviews and finally a test shoot.
“(Hugh) Heffner approves all Playmates that will be on the cover and he picked me,” she said.
Pomplun said she started modeling when she was 13 years old but that the Playboy assignment was the first time she posed nude.
Although she was born in San Diego, Pomplun considers herself a “tijuanense” because she always lived in Playas de Tijuana.
“I always boast that I’m from Tijuana wherever I go,” she said.
The model said she was the first model from Tijuana to appear in a Playboy cover.
She recently moved to Los Angeles but plans to return to San Diego after her two-year commitment with the magazine ends and go to college.
Pomplun plans to use funds from her stint at Playboy to attend UCSD, where she wants to study biochemical engineering.
In the meantime, she said she was going to take advantage of her exposure.
“I’m going to model until I’m too old to do it.”