Puerto Ricans have supported US statehood in a vote that is the strongest sign yet that the Caribbean island territory is on the road to losing its second-class status.
But yesterday's vote comes with an asterisk and an imposing political reality.
The island remains bitterly divided over its relationship to the US and many question the validity of this week's referendum.
Nearly 500,000 voters chose to leave a portion of the ballot blank.
Voters also ousted the pro-statehood governor, eliminating one of the main advocates for a cause that would need the approval of the US Congress.
President Barack Obama had said he would support the will of the Puerto Rican people on its "status."
But the results are not so clear cut.
It was a two-part ballot that first asked all voters if they favour the current status as a US territory.
Regardless of the answer, all voters then had the opportunity to choose in the second question from three options.
The three options included: statehood, independence or "sovereign free association," which would grant more autonomy to the island of nearly 4m people.
More than 900,000 voters, or 54%, responded "no" to the first question, saying they were not content with the current status.
On the second question, nearly 800,000, or 61%, chose statehood -- a bigger percentage, and the first majority, than in the previous three referendums on this issue over the past 45 years.
Some 437,000 backed sovereign free association and 72,560 chose independence. Nearly 500,000, however, did not opt for any of those three choices.
The certified results will be sent to the White House and the congressional leadership, and it would be up to them to begin the process of possibly admitting Puerto Rico into the union.
Governor Luis Fortuno, a member of the pro-statehood party who is also a Republican, welcomed the results and said he was hopeful that Congress would take up the cause.
But Mr Fortuno will not be around to lead the fight.
Voters turned him out of office after one term, and gave the governship to Alejandro Garcia Padilla of the Popular Democratic Party, which wants Puerto Rico to remain a semi-autonomous US commonwealth.
Mr Garcia has pledged to hold a constitutional assembly in 2014 to address the island's status, followed by another referendum with support from Congress.
Besides pointing to the defeat of the governor, albeit by a margin of less than 1%, sceptics point to other signs that statehood is not ascendant in Puerto Rico.
Puerto Rico has been a territory for 114 years and its people have been US citizens since 1917.
Residents of the island cannot vote in the U.S. presidential election, have no representation in the Senate and only limited representation in the House of Representatives.
It's a situation that frustrates many, as does the long-simmering political uncertainty.
Independence was once the dominant political movement on the island but no longer: Only 6% of voters opted to sever ties from the US.