November 8, 2016 9:30 AM EST

It’s nerve-racking to wait for the results of the presidential election — especially for the nominees. But when the results do finally roll in, the new president-elect often looks like the picture of joy. Whether celebrating privately or with a mass of supporters, a good outcome on Election Day is cause for a smile.

This year’s election is has been an unusually controversial one, and it ends with polls showing a close race. It should all be over in soon, as Americans head to the polls on Tuesday and the world will find out whether Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump will take the nation’s highest office. But, before that person takes office, there will be time to celebrate—just like the presidents-elect who have come before.

Here, TIME takes a look back at what it’s like to win a presidential election.

Contact us at letters@time.com.

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