The 24-year-old – who also won £100,000 – was amazed when Davina told her she had won, and hugged Mikey before falling back on to the sofa in a stunned silence.
She had been second favourite to take the crown, with Mikey the bookies favourite to triumph.
The betting had been a close call between her, Mikey and Sara, who eventually finished third – and the pair were neck and neck in the voting right up until the last minute.
However Rachel eventually pipped Mikey with 51.3 per cent of the vote compared to Mikey’s 48.7 per cent share.
Mikey – who left the house to a mixed reaction despite his runner-up place- said he was pleased that Rachel had snatched victory.
“I’ve always said from day one that Rachel wasn’t a fraud, and I thought she might win. I’m glad that she’s the winner.
I liked her because she seemed nice and genuine, and even though she stayed on the fence that was just Rachel.”
And he made no apologies for his outspokenness during his time in the house, pointing out that he “stood up to all the bullies”.
“I always spoke my mind, I wasn’t here to annoy but I wasn’t there to make friends. I’m glad I made a friend like Rachel but it wasn’t going to get in the way of my standing up to people.”
Meanwhile Rachel – who also received a few boos but was largely cheered upon leaving the house – showed her appreciation with a non-stop chorus of ‘thank yous’- and admitted she couldn’t quite believe she had won.
“You dream about going on Big Brother, and then when you actually win it’s like ‘how?'” she exclaimed.
She went on to describe Mikey – who was one of her closest friends in the house – as “amazing”, and denied the allegations from other housemates that she had not been herself during her time on Big Brother.
“Of course I was,” she said, “I know who I am. How can you not be who you are when you’re in there for 13 weeks?”
“I learned while I was in the house to stay true to who you are…when people keep attacking you and telling you you’re fake.”