Referee: A Marriner
Hugo Rodallega headed a dramatic 79th-minute winner to secure Wigan's Barclays Premier League status for another season.
Rodallega's goal, coupled with results elsewhere, meant Roberto Martinez's men, who started the day second from bottom, would extend their top-flight status.
Rodallega met a Mohamed Diame cross to flick the winner past Asmir Begovic and spark celebrations in front of the visiting supporters.
Just five minutes earlier, the Latics had risen from their slumber after news filtered through of a goal at Old Trafford which lifted them out of the bottom three.
"It's like winning a trophy - that's the way I feel," said Martinez. "We haven't chosen the easy route, and it's a great feeling because this squad has been written off so many times in this campaign."
The visitors' dramatic survival was in sharp contrast to a dismal first-half display, with Wigan looking nervy from the first minute when Ali Al-Habsi had to save from Kenwyne Jones. Despite looking uncertain at set-plays, Al-Habsi would play a big part in keeping his side in with a chance during a torrid first half.
The visitors never came close to threatening Begovic's goal, and it was the home side who pressed forward with the purpose of a side most concerned about the outcome.
Stoke had the ball in the net in the 11th minute, when Jones' header from a Rory Delap long throw was helped in by Jonathan Walters, who was offside.
These were worrying times for the visitors, with Stoke dominating possession and Al-Habsi looking far from comfortable when called to deal with Delap's long throws.
Wigan striker Conor Sammon had his first chance in the 62nd minute when he turned just inside the box and fired a low left-foot shot which was gathered by Begovic.
However, Martinez sought to add greater impetus to his strike force in the 67th minute when he replaced the former Kilmarnock striker with Tom Cleverley.
Manchester United's third goal against Blackpool shunted the visitors towards safety, and Rodallega ensured they took another giant stride with his superb 79th-minute finish.
The visiting fans, who had been virtually silent for long swathes of the afternoon, celebrated with Latics backroom staff, but the game was far from over.
Five minutes of added time, including a loud penalty shout and Al-Habsi spilling a Delap corner, did nothing to settle Wigan nerves before the whistle ensured the celebrations could begin.