David Lilley denied Jimmy White a third consecutive World Seniors title after a 5-3 win in the final in Sheffield.
The 45-year-old from Washington was playing in the final stages of the event for the first time.
He earned his competitive debut at the Crucible after coming through the initial Q-School qualifying in Reading earlier this year.
Lilley built up a 3-0 lead and although White levelled it at 3-3, Lilley pulled away again for victory.
"I'm a bit speechless, I didn't think I'd get this emotional," he said.
"Jimmy is my hero - he's everyone's hero. I really don't know what to say; I'm just so happy."
Lilley eliminated Philip Williams, Ken Doherty and Patrick Wallace on his way to the final.