A Playmate is a female model featured in the centerfold/gatefold of Playboy magazine as Playmate of the Month (PMOM). The PMOM's pictorial includes nude photographs and a centerfold poster, along with a pictorial biography and the "Playmate Data Sheet", which lists her birthdate, measurements, turn-ons, and turn-offs. At the end of the year, one of the 12 Playmates of the Month is named (PMOY). Every Playmate of the Month is awarded a prize of US$25,000 and each Playmate of the Year receives an additional prize of US$100,000 plus a car (specifically, a short-term lease of a car) and other discretionary gifts. In addition, Anniversary Playmates are usually chosen to celebrate a milestone year of the magazine.
Playboy encourages potential Playmates to send photos with "girl next door" appeal for consideration; others may submit photos of Playmate candidates, and may be eligible for a finder's fee if their model is selected. In addition, "casting calls" are held regularly in major US cities to offer opportunities for women to test for Playboy. Until just prior to the death of Hugh Hefner, he personally selected each Playmate of the Month and every Playmate of the Year, taking into account an annual readers' poll.
According to Playboy, there is no such thing as a former Playmate because "Once a Playmate, always a Playmate".