PEOPLE has been there for his unprecedented run to the White House throughout the campaign, and was there at the Midtown Hilton Hotel, where he triumphantly accepted his shocking win, a 276-218 electoral victory over Hillary Clinton.
“I pledge to every citizen of our land that I will be president for all Americans, and this is so important to me. For those who have chosen not to support me in the past — of which there were a few people — I’m reaching out to you for your guidance and your help so we can unify our great country,” Trump said in his victory speech early Wednesday morning.
- For more on Donald Trump’s journey to the White House, pick up a copy of PEOPLE, on newsstands Saturday
The crowd at Trump’s victory party was muted at the start of the night, with news networks projecting a Clinton victory. But as the billionaire businessman steadily picked up coveted swing states, the mood turned to celebration.
“It’s suddenly all feeling very real … The kids are very excited and they’re all very confident that he will win,” a family source told PEOPLE around midnight.
The overcapacity room started several chants throughout the night — “Lock her up” and “Build the wall,” before shifting over to cheers of “Call it” as a Trump victory became clear.
Trump, his family and running mate, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, took the stage shortly after the Associated Press called the election for Trump at 2:30 a.m. – to a massive roar from the crowd.
Now the President-Elect will spend the next two months building up his cabinet and planning for the transition when he’s sworn in on Jan. 20.
Read our election night coverage below:
Get more details on Trump’s road to victory and Clinton’s unexpected defeat in this week’s issue of PEOPLE.