The British and Irish Lions had the profligacy of Kurtley Beale to thank for victory by the most narrow of margins in Brisbane, as the Australian back missed two late penalties to ensure the visitors triumphed by two points.
Wallabies winger Israel Falou provided the first score of the eagerly-awaited encounter, before a sensational solo try from Lions dangerman George North got the away support rocking.
Another Falou success before the interval momentarily hushed the Lions faithful, but the unerring accuracy of Leigh Halfpenny's boot ensured Warren Gatland's side entered into the break with a 13-12 lead.
Alex Cuthbert recorded another Lions score during the second period, only for Beale to kick two penalties to bring Australia back within two points as the absorbing match edged towards its conclusion.
Beale fluffed an opportunity from 30 metres to send Australia ahead with only minutes remaining, before suffering the heartbreak of another miss in the dying seconds.
The 24-year-old was presented with the chance to claim victory, only to slip on his approach to kick the ball - sending it wide of the posts - and condemning Australia to defeat.
Victory for the Lions in pursuit of a first series win in 16 years was greeted by a host of other sporting stars - most notably from current and former England cricketers ahead of this summer's Ashes against Australia.
Stuart Broad, set to play a starring role for England as they pursue a third successive Ashes win, tweeted his delight at the 23-21 win for the Lions, having previously posted an image of himself wearing the famous red jersey.
He said: "Brilliant entertainment! When it's your day, it's your day! #lions."
Ex-England captain Michael Vaughan and Ashes winner Paul Collingwood also joined in the gloating following the epic win
Vaughan tweeted: "Slipping hell.... What a lovely win...!!! Part 1 of my weekend double sorted......"
Collingwood said: "Sport can be seriously cruel at times #lions #winners."