Anderson ended a long and tortuous wait for a first world crown when he toppled Phil Taylor a year ago, and while this contest was not as thrilling, victory gives the Scot the same prestigious prize.
In the process he was able to exact revenge on two-time winner Lewis, who beat him on this day in 2011, and he heads back across the border £300,000 (€407,000) richer.
To defeat Lewis— almost untouchable prior to the final — was not easy, but some erratic finishing from ‘Jackpot’ meant that Anderson, in spite of some baffling miscalculations at key moments, was able to get over the line.
“I was playing a good friend of mine and it just never happened. There were some good darts and some bad ones,” Anderson said on stage afterwards — perplexing comments after a match that saw a PDC record 34 180s hit.
“The way I played and the way Adie played, it killed the game. I’m getting old now so I’ll take this!”
The 45-year-old added: “It would be lovely to come back for a third but the body is hurting. Us older ones are running out, but I’ll plod on.”
Lewis continued his run of winning the first leg of each match this tournament and went on to claim the first set 3-1, with Anderson looking edgy and averaging 79.14.
But he returned with an 11-dart leg to settle the nerves in the second and ended it with another, pulling level at 1-1.
He made it 2-1 in the next set, breaking against the throw with a dart at double 10 and then checking out on 75.
Lewis came back at him, breaking back to 2-2 but only after Anderson inexplicably miscounted when he had a break of his own begging.
During the set, a 180 from Lewis accounted for a record 626th of the tournament.
The pair traded breaks at the start of the fifth set but Anderson missed six doubles to take it against the throw and as he unravelled, Lewis nipped in for 3-2.
Lewis was looking dominant and the prospect of a two-leg lead was there when he broke, but Anderson came back at him and got the sets level again.
It was Anderson’s turn to break first in a leg at the start of the seventh, with Lewis responding in kind, but two missed arrows at double top from him allowed Anderson to break for a second time.
Lewis was unlucky to see two darts bounce out in the second leg of the eighth but poor finishing allowed Anderson to break him for 2-0, and even another spectacular miscount could not cost him the set as he moved clear at 5-3.