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10:14 GMT +3 hours18 December 2014
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Venezuelan beauty wins title Miss Universe 2008

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A live TV audience of around one billion saw Venezuelan Dayana Mendoza, 22, crowned Miss Universe 2008 late on Sunday.
HANOI, July 14 (RIA Novosti) - A live TV audience of around one billion saw Venezuelan Dayana Mendoza, 22, crowned Miss Universe 2008 late on Sunday.

The Venezuelan beauty was crowned with a $30,000 tiara and has the right to live in a prestigious New York flat, a $100,000 stipend for a two-year course at the New York Film Academy and free access to famous fashion houses and beauty parlors.

Miss Colombia Taliana Vargas and Miss Dominican Republic, Marianne Cruz Gonzale, were chosen runners-up.

The contest's organizing committee announced on Monday the winners in two unofficial categories. Rebeca Moreno from Salvador became Miss Congeniality Universe. Miss Thailand Gavintra Photijak received the National Costume Award after an online vote on the NBC TV website.

The Miss Universe international beauty contest has been held annually since 1952.