Yakubu scored a penalty nine minutes into stoppage time to earn 10-man Blackburn a dramatic point at Wigan.
The striker had fired Rovers ahead after 68 seconds with a lob before Jordi Gomez levelled from 20 yards.
Gary Caldwell nodded Wigan ahead from a corner and Junior Hoilett made it 2-2 after David Dunn was sent off for a second yellow card.
Albert Crusat put Wigan back in front but Yakubu scored from the spot after Rovers keeper Paul Robinson was fouled.
Blackburn's second goal was shrouded in controversy as Morten Gamst Pedersen seemed to dribble the ball straight from a corner before firing in a low cross for Hoilett to head home from two yards.
Wigan manager Roberto Martinez was livid but referee Andre Marriner allowed the goal to stand, adjudging Yakubu to have put the ball into play before Pedersen collected it.
Balaji Rao, the managing director of Venky's and his brother Venkatesh, were both present at the DW Stadium on the first anniversary of their Blackburn takeover, and they were treated to an absorbing derby which was incident-packed from start to finish.
Rovers arrived just 50 minutes before kick-off after the team coach was delayed in traffic, but their late arrival did not appear to hurt Steve Kean's side as they raced into the lead after 68 seconds.
A long ball forward was flicked on by Steven Nzonzi and after Caldwell failed to clear, Yakubu pounced with his first touch of the match to chip the ball over Ali Al-Habsi.
It was the former Everton striker's 100th league goal in England and the quickest Premier League goal for Blackburn in over four-and-a-half years.
But in an enthralling match, Wigan found themselves back on level terms in the seventh minute when Gomez marked his return to the side by beating Robinson from 20 yards.
After Pedersen had hit a post with a 30-yard free-kick in the 19th minute, captain Caldwell put Wigan ahead with a 32nd-minute header after poor marking by Scott Dann.
Wigan should have put the game out of reach before half-time, with Victor Moses was guilty of spurning two decent chances.
And the Latics - who, like their opponents, have only one Premier League win so far this season - were firm favourites when Dunn was sent off for a second bookable offence after a foul on Mohamed Diame in the 48th minute.
But Blackburn refused to lie down and were level through Hoilett's controversial goal on the hour mark.
Substitute Albert thought he had earned Wigan all three points when he fired in from 20 yards with two minutes of normal time remaining after being teed up by fellow replacement Hugo Rodallega.
There was more drama to come though as Robinson went forward for a late corner and won a penalty, taking a boot to the head from David Jones as he challenged for the ball.
And Yakubu kept his composure to score from the spot - a dramatic end to a dramatic game.
Wigan manager Roberto Martinez: "The performance was magnificent. We did enough to win the game comfortably.
"Some of the performances from my players were everything I could wish for. If we carry on playing like that then we'll not be in the position we're in right now.
"I'm confident we can climb the table. You saw the spirit we have here. When the players fell behind they fought hard to get back level and then took the lead."
Blackburn manager Steve Kean: "It tells you everything about the spirit at this club that we twice came from behind to earn a point. The lads just don't stop. They just keep working. There were some outstanding performances.
"We're owed some luck because we've had some bad decisions go against us. We're all fighting hard to climb out of the bottom three."