The Co-Operative National League One side looked more than capable of causing a major cup upset until the Warriors stunned them with four converted tries in just eight second-half minutes.
The Vikings had opened the scoring when Damien Blanch sent Toa Kohe-Love over at the corner, and were unfortunate not to extend their lead when Bob Beswick’s attempt was ruled out by the video referee.
Instead Wigan found an equaliser through Sean O’Loughlin, the loose-forward finding enough space in Widnes’ defence to touch down in the right corner.
However, neither side could find a second try, and despite both sides having failed to convert their tries it was two Mick Nanyn penalties that edged the home side into an 8-4 lead at the half-time interval.
But the Vikings had more left in them, Scott Grix getting over the line off the back of a Dennis Moran break to make the score 12-8 in Widnes’ favour.
With the game over as a contest the Vikings crossed for two further tries, Jordan James and Paul Noone touching down and Nanyn converting to ensure that the scoreline reflected the true closeness of the contest.
Sunday’s Carnegie Challenge Cup results:
Dewsbury Rams 28-46 Sheffield Eagles
Huddersfield Giants 74-4 York City Knights
Hull FC 78-0 Hunslet Hawks
Keighley Cougars 16-26 Oldham
London Skolars 4-52 Wakefield Trinity Wildcats
Rochdale Hornets 20-16 Celtic Crusaders
Swinton Lions 14-47 Barrow Raiders
Whitehaven 36-8 Halifax
Widnes Vikings 24-34 Wigan Warriors