The achievement puts the Scots cycling star on the same number of golds as rowing legend Sir Steve Redgrave – and he has the chance to go one better in the keirin event on Tuesday.
Hoy, Philip Hindes and Jason Kenny smashed the world record in a stunning finale, overpowering the French in the men's team sprint on a night of high drama at the London 2012 Olympic Velodrome.
The 36-year-old from Edinburgh, competing in his fourth Games, admitted he "welled up like a baby" as he stood on the podium listening to the national anthem.
Scotland's greatest living Olympian said: "I was trying not to cry, but in front of your home crowd it's hard not to."
It rounded off what was one of Scotland's greatest days in the history of the Games, with the nation's athletes capturing two golds and a silver. It now means Scotland is closing in on breaking the record for the highest number of medals the country's athletes have ever won in an Olympic Games, which currently stands at nine.
There was an unexpected gold and silver for Scots in the two-man canoe slalom. Tim Baillie, from Aberdeen, and partner Etienne Stott, from Bedford, ranked sixth in the world, won in front of an excited home crowd, while fellow Aberdonian David Florence and Richard Hounslow took the silver.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Prince Harry and Prime Minister David Cameron were part of a capacity velodrome crowd who celebrated Hoy's achievement.
The Scot said equalling and potentially surpassing Redgrave's record of five golds "doesn't mean I'm a better athlete".
He added: "To be mentioned in the same sentence as Sir Steve, you've got to pinch yourself. I've watched him win his medals over the years, and I used to do a bit of rowing at school, so I know how hard he has worked."
First Minister Alex Salmond paid tribute to Hoy, saying: "Congratulations to Sir Chris Hoy on his fifth gold medal. A legendary performance by Scotland's greatest ever Olympian. Truly inspirational."
Minister for Sport Shona Robison added: "This is just the icing on the cake of all he has done for sport in Scotland and for Team GB."
She also congratulated the canoe teams featuring Scots Baillie and Florence.
She said it added to Scotland's "increasingly impressive medal haul" adding that "these are proving to be tremendous Games for our athletes".
Baillie, who was encouraged by his parents to take up kayaking, said: "It was electrifying and to come away with gold is a dream come true."
With London 2012 not even at the halfway point, Scots are now holding three gold, two silver and a bronze, just three short of the country's record
Olympic haul of nine achieved in London in 1908, Stockholm in 1912 and Sydney in 2000.
Scotland also has a chance of overtaking its record gold medal haul of seven achieved in Stockholm, 100 years ago.
Scots have great opportunities for 11 more medals before the games come to an end. Apart from Hoy's second attempt at gold, Glasgow's Kath Grainger and partner Anna Watkins are hotly tipped to win the women's double sculls today. Sailor Luke Patience from Rhu, Argyll and Bute, and team-mate Stuart Bithell, already double world championship silver medalists, are currently in pole position in the Men's 470.
Elgin-born Helen Jenkins is a strong favourite in the triathlon and big things are also expected of Mhairi Spence, of Inverness, in the modern pentathlon as the current world champion.
Dunblane's tennis ace Andy Murray, who beat Spaniard Nicolas Almagro in the men's tennis quarter-finals yesterday, faces top Serbian Novak Djokovic in the last four. He also stands a chance of a medal in the mixed doubles with Laura Robson having been awarded a wildcard.
There are further medal possibilites for Scots Kim Little and Ifeoma Dieke of the Team GB women's football team who have reached the quarter-finals.
And Scots Laura Bartlett and Emily Maguire are members of the Team GB hockey squad who made it three wins out of three yesterday. It proved to be one of the most successful days for Team GB as three golds and three silvers were won, pushing the nation to fifth in the medal table. A third British gold went to shooter Peter Wilson in the double trap at the Royal Artillery Barracks in Woolwich, while Gemma Gibbons picked up silver in her judo final.
But track cyclists Victoria Pendleton and Jess Varnish were disqualified from the women's team sprint for an illegal takeover during their semi-final contest.
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