New Orleans Saints defeated the Indianapolis Colts 31-17 at Miami's SunLife Stadium. Drew Brees won MVP.
They made the most of their first Super Bowl appearance in their 42-year history of the franchise.
The NFC-champion Saints came from 10-0 down at the end of the first quarter - equalling the largest deficit overturned to win a Super Bowl - and still trailed by a point at 16-17 heading into the fourth before dominating the final period to deny Indianapolis quarterback Peyton Manning and his side a second Super Bowl victory in four years.
It was an emotional occasion for the city of New Orleans, less than five years after it bore the brunt of Hurricane Katrina, as a series of bold calls from head coach Sean Payton helped them claim the title.
The Colts had gone into a 10-0 lead thanks to a Matt Stover field goal and Manning's 19-yard touchdown pass into the end zone for 23-year-old, second-year wide receiver Pierre Garcon, Stover returning to kick the extra point.
The second quarter saw a more assertive Saints display as they outgained the Colts by 143 yards to 15, yet only came away with two Garrett Hartley field goals to show for their dominance and went in 10-6 down at half-time.
The Saints took the lead for the first time in the game when quarterback Drew Brees threw his first touchdown pass, running back Pierre Thomas making the reception and jinking 20 yards into the end zone behind some excellent blocking. Hartley kicked the extra point to put New Orleans into a 13-10 lead.
The Colts reacted by running the ball, with Joseph Addai collecting the hand-off from Manning four yards out and side-stepping his way into the end zone before Stover added a point as Indianapolis regained the lead at 17-13.
Hartley's 47-yard field goal with 2:06 remaining in the quarter made him the first kicker ever to land three goals from 40 yards or more in the Super Bowl and left the Saints a point behind, setting up a perfectly poised last 15 minutes.
The Colts suffered a setback at the end of the first drive of the fourth quarter when Stover missed a field goal attempt from 51 yards and the Saints took advantage on the next possession as Brees sent a short pass right for Jeremy Shockey.
Shockey had been injured when his former team New York Giants won the Super Bowl against New England Patriots two years ago but he was front and centre to collect Brees' pass and the Saints opted to go for two extra points rather than one from a kick.
The plan looked to have backfired when Brees' pass to Lance Moore was ruled incomplete but Payton challenged the decision and was it overturned on review to give his side a 24-17 lead with 5:46 left on the clock. The catch also saw MVP Brees equal Tom Brady's Super Bowl record of 32 completions.
The Colts' comeback was derailed with 3:24 left when, having advanced to the New Orleans 31-yard line, Manning's pass intended for wide receiver Reggie Wayne was picked off by Tracey Porter.
The defensive back raced 74 yards back upfield for an interception touchdown and, with Hartley landing the extra point, the Saints were 31-17 up.
Back came the Colts for one last throw of the dice but as they camped on the New Orleans goal-line, Garcon was penalised for pass interference inside the end zone and Manning was forced back 10 yards to the 13.
The Colts quarterback tried again and with less than a minute left on the clock Indianapolis were on the five-yard line on fourth down. Manning threw again into the end zone and again looking for Wayne, but the pass was incomplete and the game was effectively over.
The Saints ate up the clock and Brees, his team-mates and the city of New Orleans began an impromptu Mardi Gras in Miami.