Scenes of joy and disappointment have been seen across the US after Joe Biden was projected to win the presidential election, ending a nail-biting wait for results that left the world in suspense.
Spontaneous celebrations erupted in major cities after media outlets announced Mr Biden’s victory over President Donald Trump on Saturday.
From New York to Los Angeles, news of the result was met with cheers, honking and dancing as supporters of Mr Biden flooded the streets.
Elsewhere, the mood was more sombre among Mr Trump’s supporters, with some refusing to accept Mr Biden’s projected victory.
For all Americans, the result was a moment of release after a bitterly contested election that took place in the shadow of a pandemic.
Masks were worn widely in Washington DC, where hundreds of people gathered near the White House to celebrate outside a security fence erected before election day.
Music blared, fireworks boomed, people embraced but Mr Trump, who was playing golf in Virginia when the result was declared, was far from the party, in spirit or person.
“I was on the bus and I jumped off the bus to come right down here to the White House,” Washington resident Donna Thomas told Reuters news agency. “It is something to celebrate. We have been waiting so long.”
Within hours of the result, Black Lives Matter Plaza, the scene of many recent racial injustice protests in the capital, was thronged with thousands of people.
“I’m here to celebrate,” Jack Nugent, a 24-year-old software engineer, told AFP news agency. “I’m really happy with the outcome. It’s been so many years waiting for this day to happen.”
Times Square in New York was equally packed, as the result breathed new life into the pandemic-stricken city.
“I feel like I’ve been holding my breath,” Justin Oakley, a 30-year-old web developer, told the New York Times. “We’ve been through so much, the city has been through so much this year, I’ve been to so many protests. But now it’s like, ah, finally, something to celebrate.”
Some Democratic voters toasted the victory, popping champagne bottles near Brooklyn’s Fort Greene Park.
Those outside the Chase Center in Wilmington, Delaware, were no less jubilant. The streets were a sea of signs promoting the ticket of Mr Biden and his vice-presidential running mate, Kamala Harris.
Locals expressed an outpouring of joy at Mr Biden, who lives in Wilmington, ascending to the highest office in the country.
“I’m happy, I wanted Trump out,” Kristina Moncada, 31, told AFP. “It’s awesome because [Joe Biden] knows the area. He’s just more relatable, he’s a genuine guy. He means what he says and he’ll keep his word.”
Triumphant, Mr Biden’s supporters raised their fists to the sky in sunny Philadelphia, a Pennsylvanian city that proved crucial to the Democrat’s victory.
Not all Americans were pleased with the numbers, however. Despite the projected result, some of Mr Trump’s supporters were adamant that the Republican president was still in the race for the White House.
Many repeated the president’s unsubstantiated allegations of fraud.
Chants of “This is not over” and “We will be here forever” were heard on the steps of the Michigan State Capitol in Lansing.
Similar sentiments were expressed in Phoenix, Arizona, where some Trump supporters shouted “Trump won” and “We will win in court”, referring to the flurry of legal challenges the president has mounted against the results.
Some protesters blamed the media for declaring Mr Biden the winner. “The media is part of the coup,” one protester shouted.
One Trump supporter, Jodi Lavoie-Carnes from Dover, New Hampshire said she was appalled by the tone of the celebrations thrown to mark Mr Biden’s win. The 48-year-old said some Biden supporters had been waving inappropriate anti-Trump signs at a rally in her town.
“I’m like, are you serious?” she told the New York Times. “The language doesn’t need to be there. My children need to drive by that.”