England captain Eoin Morgan admitted he believed his side's shot at World Cup glory had gone on Sunday before a thrilling twist saw the hosts lift the trophy for the first time after a Super Over.
Morgan's men needed 39 runs off the final 23 balls to win when Chris Woakes holed out.
But thanks to Ben Stokes's 84 not out and some fortune when a deflection off Stokes's bat went for four overthrows, England tied New Zealand's target of 241 off 50 overs.
Both sides could not be separated on runs either after hitting 15 off an extra six balls each, so England won by virtue of hitting more boundaries throughout the course of the match.
"Absolutely unbelievable, I still can't quite believe it," said Morgan.
"I thought it was over when Chris Woakes got out but then Liam Plunkett got us back into the game and we had the rub of the green, with Ben's overthrows -- I don't know how you described that on commentary.
"In the Super Over, Ben continued to have a great day out with Jos. A day to remember."
Victory completed a four-year path to redemption for Morgan, who captained the side to a humiliating group-stage exit at the 2015 World Cup.
England have since recovered to become the number one ranked side in the world, but were on the verge of failing to make the semi-finals once more after losing to Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Australia in the group stage.
However, they steadied the ship by beating India and New Zealand to complete the round robin phase before thrashing Australia in the semi-finals.
And in front of a packed house at Lord's and a huge television audience with the final the only match of the tournament shown on free-to-air television in the UK, the World Cup got the buzz it craved with a thrilling finale.
"The support has been incredible from the very beginning of the tournament and we've managed to pull it off. It's such a good feeling," added Morgan.
"I've said 'incredible' 50 times since lifting the trophy. Our fans are the best people on the planet.
"We had two must-win games and we scraped through and we continued it on to today. Thank you for the support over the last four years."
Victory completed a four-year path to redemption for Morgan, who captained the side to a humiliating group-stage exit at the 2015 World Cup