Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar? Not to Playmate Alison Waite

Robert Luce

Selecting May 2006 Playboy Playmate, Alison Waite, as the official spokesbunny of the Macanudo Millionaire contest was a no-brainer. The down to earth California native has been a lucky rabbit’s foot since her days as a suitcase model on Deal or No Deal. Waite, along with two of her fellow Playmates, will be on-hand to channel lady luck to this year’s Macanudo Moment Essay winner as they attempt to score a royal flush to win a million dollars. The lucky cigar aficionado can also bring along a trio of buddies—who are sure to be forever in his debt—to make the all expense paid three-day trip to the Playboy Club at The Palms in Las Vegas an experience to remember. On a recent trip to Chicago, Waite sat down with Chicago Scene over drinks to talk about how to become a Playmate, why cigar smoking is sexy and how to make the transition from cigarette smoking to cigar smoking.

What advice do you have for aspiring Playmates?

Being a Playboy Cyber Girl is a great avenue to take to get into Playboy. Monica Leigh, who is a dear friend of mine, began as a Cyber Girl of the Week. Then there’s Heather Rene Smith who went on to become a Playmate after she was discovered at one of Playboy’s Girls of Golf events. Everyone has a story of how they got in. For me I just happened to be at a party at the right place at the right time—I was lucky. Any girl who is interested should just go to and submit their photo, or go to one of Playboy’s many events. There are girls that have submitted simply just a Polaroid of themselves in a bathing suit, so it doesn’t necessarily have to be nude. If your photo gets picked they’ll call you in for an interview. And remember, Hef still approves every single centerfold that appears in the magazine.

Any chance that we’ll see you on NBC’s The Playboy Club?

As of right now they haven’t asked any Playmates to be involved in it. My roommate did the fitting for the bunny costumes for the actresses, but that was about it. I hope they do because it would be great for the name brand. I’m sure those are Macanudos they’re smoking on the show.

What would you say to someone whose perception of cigar smoking is for an older crowd?

Playboy views itself as a lifestyle brand—it’s a lifestyle magazine that’s about living the good life. If you’re out at a nice place why not class it up a bit with a cigar? I think your readers can understand that since they’re used to living the good life.

Do you have a favorite cigar?

My favorite is the Macanudo Crü Royale. It’s a well-balanced medium bodied cigar that’s great for any celebratory occasion. My cousin just had a baby and I got him a box.

Where’s the best place to start for someone who’s looking to make the transition from cigarettes to cigars?

The four-variety pack is a great starter kit if you aren’t a cigar smoker per se. All four cigars (Café, Maduro, 1968 and Crü Royale) offer something different as far as taste, so you’ll have an easy time learning what cigar type is for you. The tobacco is processed a little differently in all four.

What’s the best cigar in the four-variety pack to start out with?

The more full-bodied Vintage is a great starter. It’s a good cigar to have while talking business on or off the golf course.

Let’s say you step outside a nice club and see two equally attractive guys smoking. One is smoking a cigarette, the other a cigar. Is what their smoking affect who you’re going to favor?

I’d rather him smoke cigars than a pack of cigarettes. I personally think cigar smoking is classy, dignified and sexy. I believe in Macanudo and appreciate that they’re all natural and hand made in the Dominican Republic. If you’re going to a nice club you obviously want the best, so why not smoke something that embodies having the best? And if you’re going to step outside for that smoke—always go with a mild bodied cigar. It’s the perfect in-between cigar.

To enter the Macanudo Millionaire contest, visit