Hull 2 Cardiff 2
A goal from Republic of Ireland defender Paul McShane helped Hull get promoted to the top flight for just the second time in their 109-year history today.
It was a dramatic afternoon at the KC Stadium in which they were forced to wait 20 minutes before their fate was determined.
Steve Bruce's men were unable to secure the three points against the champions which would have guaranteed them second spot, yet they had a helping hand from Yorkshire rivals Leeds who beat third-placed Watford 2-1.
With just minutes to go in the Tigers' game, they were heading up against the 10-man Bluebirds yet an incredible finale with one red card, two penalties and a mini pitch-invasion left the door open for Gianfranco Zola's 10 men at Vicarage Road.
However, with their clash delayed due to an injury, they were unable to score the goal which would have sent them into the top flight and it was Ross McCormack who scored instead to give Leeds a 2-1 win and send the Tigers into delirium.
Former Hull loanee Fraizer Campbell had threatened to derail the Tigers' hopes by breaking the deadlock just after half-time, but two goals in five minutes through Nick Proschwitz and McShane looked to have turned Hull's entire season back around.
Andrew Taylor was then sent off before Proschwitz had a penalty, which would surely have guaranteed promotion, saved.
Instead, Nicky Maynard earned Cardiff a share of the spoils from the penalty spot although matters at Vicarage Road would ultimately transpire in Hull's favour.
If the tension around the ground was palpable beforehand, it only increased when it filtered through that captain and top scorer Robert Koren had not recovered from a calf strain and joined striker Gedo in missing out.
In a bid to end their mini-drought Bruce made the surprising move to field wing-back Robbie Brady behind Jay Simpson up-front.
The hosts had the ball in the net early on as the ball ricocheted off George Boyd and crept in, yet the flag was up for offside long before.
When Boyd caught the defence napping again, Brady squandered a great chance to give Hull the lead.
Stephen Quinn's pass found Boyd down the line and he set up Brady on his favoured left foot, yet the Republic of Ireland international leant back and curled his effort over.
The on-field action remained entertaining, Craig Conway and Brady bringing respective saves out of David Stockdale and David Marshall, while, in the stands, mischievous Cardiff fans chanted suggesting that Watford had scored not once, but twice.
Whether the Hull players knew it was a hoax or not, they were quickly put in the picture as a roar greeted the news that it was actually Leeds who had broke the deadlock.
Proschwitz replaced Simpson on the stroke of half-time and, during the interval, Hull would no doubt have been informed of Watford's leveller.
They were still heading up at that point, but the story's potential villain arrived at the start of the second half to throw a spanner in the works as Campbell broke the deadlock four minutes after the restart.
The striker drifted between the two centre-backs to collect a long ball and, with just one touch, coolly rolled the ball beyond Stockdale and into the corner.
However, nine minutes later, parity was restored.
Quinn's ball from the left came into Proschwitz and he managed to just stay onside and steer the ball into the far corner with his left foot.
It was only his third league goal since a £2.5million move this summer and there was better to come for the hosts, too.
From a corner on the right, McShane got the wrong side of his marker and diverted Brady's inswinging delivery from the right into the bottom corner.
Bruce and the bench erupted and suddenly it did not matter what was going on at Vicarage Road.
Few could have predicted what happened next.
First Taylor was given his marching orders in the 90th minute for a foul on Ahmed Elmohamady then Hull had a stoppage-time penalty when Ben Turner crashed into David Meyler.
That prompted dozens of home supporters to spill on to the pitch and the delay clearly disrupted Proschwitz, who saw his spot-kick saved by Marshall.
And, just seconds later, Cardiff had a penalty of their own when the ball struck Abdoulaye Faye's hand.
Nicky Maynard drilled the set-piece home to ensure Hull were left needing a favour at Watford.
And they got just that from Leeds as Bruce's men celebrated ending a three-year exile from the Barclays Premier League in incredible circumstances.