The judges dithered until after midnight before reaching a verdict. When it came, the public favourite won.
Seong-Jin Cho, 21, of South Korea received his ovation with appropriate humility.
But the long deliberations led to leaks that the verdict had been close.
Just behind Cho, in second place, came Charles Richard-Hamelin, 26, from Francophone Canada. On a day that Canada elected a Francophone prime minister, this was almost a double celebration.
In third place was Kate Liu of the USA.
Fryderyk Chopin Society Prize for best performance of a polonaise (3 000 €) – Seong-Jin Cho
Polish Radio Prize for best performance of mazurkas (5 000 €) – Kate Liu
Krystian Zimerman Prize for best performance of a sonata (10 000 €) – Charles Richard-Hamelin
It was that close.
UPDATE: Whispers from the jury room here.