TORONTO - Denise Garrido dreamed of representing her country in the Miss Universe contest. Unfortunately, due to a major voting mistake by the committee, she was stripped of the honor just 24 hours after winning the pageant.
Garrido was named Miss Universe Canada 2013 during the pageant on Saturday. Audience members watched as the shocked and grateful 26-year-old woman accepted the crown and flowers.
Garrido was at home preparing to serve as Canada's "queen" at future events when the pageant's director showed up at her door a day after the ceremony.
The director informed Garrido she would have to give back the crown and title due to a mistake in the vote count.
"During the validation of the computerized scoring results, a typo was discovered in the top 5 entries, which significantly impacted the final results of the competition," pageant leaders said.
After verifying the correct votes the next day, the panel discovered Garrido actually finished in fourth place. Riza Santos, the woman previously thought to be the first runner up, was the actual winner.
"This is the first instance of this type of error in 11 years," said pageant leaders. "As difficult as it is, it is only right to correct the error."
Garrido addressed the controversy on her Twitter page, writing, "In every storm cloud there is a silver lining if you are willing to look for it."
The pageant director transferred the title and the crown to Santos after apologizing to Garrido.