A host of stars from the sporting world attended the ceremony at the ExCel Centre in London, hosted by Gary Lineker, Sue Barker and Clare Balding.
Kate Middleton and David Beckham appeared as award presenters, while sports stars such as runner-up Jessica Ennis and Mo Farah were also in attendance.
Copyright: PA Images David Davies/PA WireLord Sebastian Coe was given the Lifetime Achievement Award, while nominees including rower Katherine Grainger, boxer Nicola Adams, swimmer Ellie Simmonds and sailor Ben Ainslie appeared at the arena.
"I'm not going to swear tonight, so I'm just going to say thanks very much to everyone who picked the phone up and voted," Wiggins said of his win.
Digital Spy readers had also backed Wiggins to win Sports Personality of the Year 2012, with 23.4% of the vote.
The voting breakdown for last night's event are as follows (courtesy of BBC News):
Total votes: 1,626,718
1. Bradley Wiggins 492,064 (30.25%)
2. Jessica Ennis 372,765 (22.92%)
3. Andy Murray 230,444 (14.17%)
4. Mo Farah 131,327 (8.07%)
5. David Weir 114,633 (7.05%)
6. Ellie Simmonds 102,894 (6.33%)
7. Sir Chris Hoy 42,961 (2.64%)
8. Nicola Adams 35,560 (2.19%)
9. Ben Ainslie 35,373 (2.17%)
10. Rory McIlroy 29,729 (1.83%)
11. Katherine Grainger 28,626 (1.76%)
12. Sarah Storey 10,342 (0.64%)