Playboy announced Washington, 31, as their 2016 pick for the highly-coveted position on Wednesday, Fox News reported.
Washington is the 57th Playmate of the Year and the third African American to be awarded the title after Renee Tenison won in 1990 and Ida Ljungqvist in 2009.
As part of her prize package, Washington will reportedly receive $100,000 and a two-year lease on a 2017 Fiat Spider.
Washington's photoshoot for her victory cover features her lying on a floatie and drinking a chilled cocktail in a pool. The image will be published in Playboy's June 2016 issue.
Playboy announced late last year it would be getting a makeover and no longer include fully-nude shots of women. The change took effect in March 2016, and Washington is apparently thrilled about it.
"I love it," Washington told Fox News.
"I have seen all the non-nude issues and I absolutely love it. It's absolutely necessary for the brand to continue right now when people are so exposed. It's fun to leave something to the imagination, and right now we are in 1,200 more newsstands because we are more accessible because it is non-nude. I think it's a great step in the right direction."
Washington first posed for the magazine as Playmate of the Month for December 2015.
"I think that [Hugh Hefner] was able to show women in a beautiful natural state. You know sometimes when people think nudes they think trash, porn or slutty; but he was able to capture us in our essence and be elegant and beautiful and respectful and just classy," Washington said.
"I think that definitely changed the way that people view nude shoots and things in America -- because sometimes we are very prude about that... Thank you Mr. Hefner for having that vision and bringing that to us."
Washington additionally said in a media statement she's "enjoying the ride" and being a part of Playboy makes her really happy.