Scrum-half Marc Sneyd made history by helping Hull secure the first golden-point victory in Super League.
Wigan centre Oliver Gildart scored his second try of the game two minutes from the end to tie the scores at 22-22 but Zak Hardaker was narrowly wide with the conversion attempt to force the game into added time.
The new rule was introduced into Super League at the start of the season and Hull became the first team to profit from it as Sneyd broke the deadlock in the first period of extra time with a drop goal to earn a 23-22 success.
Earlier British Army private Ratu Naulago scored two tries on his debut to put Hull on their way to ending a 13-match losing run going back to last June.
The winger, who was given temporary release from active service to sign a professional contract with the Black and Whites, touched down in each half to over-shadow the comeback of 37-year-old Gareth Ellis, who played 25 minutes as a substitute 18 months after hanging up his boots.
Wigan, who also had a tryscoring debutant in teenager Liam Byrne, were hoping to bounce back from their World Club Challenge defeat but instead find themselves near the foot of the table on zero points after having two docked for a salary-cap breach.
There was little hint of the drama to come when Wigan opened the scoring through Gildart after Hull winger Bureta Faraimo had lost the ball in the tackle on his own 20-metre line.
Hardaker made it 6-0 with the conversion but Hull struck back impressively to score three quickfire tries and open up a 10-point lead.
A strong performance highlighted with some neat offloads from rookie prop Masi Matongo took the visitors close and the distribution of half-backs Jake Connor and Sneyd enabled them to finish off the good work.
Second-rower Willie Manu juggled with the ball before sending centre Carlos Tuimavave in, loose forward Joe Westerman dummied his way over for a solo try and Connor's brilliant cut-out pass got Naulago strolling over out wide.
Sneyd kicked two conversions to make it 16-6 but Wigan pulled a try back seven minutes before half-time when Byrne got on the end of Sam Powell's grubber kick for his try, which Hardaker goaled.
Wigan lost second-rower Joe Greenwood with a head knock and substitute Taulima Tautai was sin-binned just before the break for a high tackle on Jordan Thompson.
And they fell further behind within two minutes of the re-start when Hull ran the ball on the last tackle and Sneyd's cut-out pass enabled Naulago to cross for his second try.
Sneyd's third goal extended Hull's lead to 22-12 and they were attacking once more when they conceded a penalty and Wigan struck back instantly to set up a tense finish.
Centre Dan Sarginson knocked on as the champions sought to take advantage of Naulago being down in back play but there was no stopping Ben Flower as he took Powell's pass to stretch over for his third try in as many league games this year.
Hardaker's third goal cut the deficit to four points and Hull suffered a blow when impressive full-back Jamie Shaul was forced from the field for a concussion assessment 10 minutes from the end.
The visitors were out on their feet by the end and it was no surprise when Gildart went over to tie the scores.
Hardaker could have won it but his conversion attempt went inches to the right of the posts and when Wigan conceded a penalty early in extra time Hull worked the ball upfield from where Sneyd landed the match-winning goal.