Matt Jackson (Jeopardy! contestant)

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Matthew Barnett Jackson (born June 24, 1992) is a former contestant on the syndicated game show Jeopardy! who had the show's 4th-longest winning streak, surpassed only by Ken Jennings, Julia Collins, and David Madden. His 13-episode streak ended with a loss on October 14, 2015. Jackson's total winnings amount to $413,612, which also places him 4th on the all-time money-winning list in regular (non-tournament) games.[1]

Jackson was encouraged to apply for the show by his friend Sam Spaulding, who won $50,000 after finishing second in the Fall 2010 College Championship.[2] After two unsuccessful attempts to enter the college tournament, he auditioned for the regular show in 2014 and was selected as a contestant.[2] Jackson said that he repeated, "I am not throwin' away my shot", a line from the musical Hamilton, for inspiration while preparing for the show.[3] He studied by reading previous champions' books on the experience, such as Ken Jennings’s Brainiac and Bob Harris's Prisoner of Trebekistan.[3]

Jackson initially drew attention for his slow smile while being introduced at the beginning of each show.[4][5] After his first victory, he began using his fingers to display the number of wins in his streak.[6] Jackson also became known for his buzzer speed and for quickly moving onto the next question after giving a correct response.[3][7] In his fourth game, when Jackson said "Boom!" after correctly answering a Daily Double, fans and media quickly proclaimed the exclamation his signature catchphrase, but he never repeated it.[8]

On November 11, 2015, he won his quarterfinal game in that year's Jeopardy! Tournament of Champions, and moved on to the next round.[9] On November 18, 2015, he won his semifinal game to advance to the finals. In the two-day final on November 19 and 20 against Alex Jacob and Kerry Greene, Jackson finished second behind Jacob, winning $100,000.

Jackson will appear in the show's "All-Star Games", airing February 20–March 5, 2019. Six teams of three former contestants will compete alternately throughout the tournament. Jackson joins team captain Ken Jennings and Monica Thieu.[10]

Early life and quizbowl career[edit]

Jackson grew up in Washington, D.C. and attended Georgetown Day School.[11] He is the son of Amy Berman Jackson, a judge on the United States District Court for the District of Columbia, and lawyer Darryl Jackson.[5] His middle name comes from his maternal grandfather, Barnett Berman, a physician at Johns Hopkins University whom Jackson cited as an early influence in becoming well-read.[12]

Jackson majored in philosophy at Yale University and graduated in 2014. While at Yale, he was a key player on the university's quizbowl team, which won several national tournaments, including Academic Competition Federation nationals in 2011 and 2012[13][14] and the National Academic Quiz Tournaments Intercollegiate Championship Tournament 2013 (division I);[15] Jackson served as president of the Partnership for Academic Competition Excellence (PACE), a nonprofit promoting the spread of quizbowl, for the 2014–15 year.[16][17][18] He works as a paralegal in D.C.[4]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Bryant, Jacob (14 October 2015). "Matt Jackson's 13-Game 'Jeopardy!' Streak Ends". Variety. Retrieved 16 October 2015.
  2. ^ a b "WHO IS MATT JACKSON?". Jeopardy!. 5 October 2015. Retrieved 6 October 2015.
  3. ^ a b c Ledbetter, Carly (6 October 2015). "What You Need To Know About Matt Jackson, The New Star Of 'Jeopardy!'". Huffington Post. Retrieved 6 October 2015.
  4. ^ a b Mullins, Jenna (5 October 2015). "The Internet Is Obsessed With Jeopardy! Contestant Matt Jackson and Now So Are We!". E! Online. Retrieved 6 October 2015.
  5. ^ a b Heil, Emily (7 October 2015). "Washington 'Jeopardy' contestant Matt Jackson is a pop-culture sensation — and the son of a federal judge". Washington Post. Retrieved 8 October 2015.
  6. ^ Kavner, Lucas (7 October 2015). "Get to Know Matt Jackson, the 23-Year-Old Who Is Killing Everyone on Jeopardy". The Vulture. Retrieved 8 October 2015.
  7. ^ Furdyk, Brent (7 October 2015). "WATCH: 'Jeopardy' Contestant Matt Jackson Hits Day 8 Of Winning Streak". Entertainment Tonight Canada. Retrieved 8 October 2015.
  8. ^ Amos, Candace (8 October 2015). "'Jeopardy!' champion Matt Jackson breathes new life into show with awkwardly sinister smile, celebratory 'boom!' cheer". NY Daily News. Retrieved 9 October 2015.
  9. ^ Heil, Emily (11 November 2015). "Washington paralegal Matt Jackson crushed it again on 'Jeopardy' (with jazz hands)". Washington Post. Retrieved 12 November 2015.
  10. ^ https://www.jeopardy.com/contestant-zone/2019/all-star-games
  11. ^ "He Keeps on Winning!". Georgetown Day School. 1 October 2015. Retrieved 8 October 2015.
  12. ^ Miller, Jason (7 October 2015). "An Interesting Jewish "Jeopardy" Champ". My Jewish Learning. Retrieved 7 October 2015.
  13. ^ Vinokurov, Jerry (17 April 2011). "ACF Nationals 2011 thanks and discussion". hsquizbowl.org. Retrieved 6 October 2015.
  14. ^ "ACF Nationals recap". ACF. 24 April 2012. Retrieved 6 October 2015.
  15. ^ "2013 Intercollegiate Championship Tournament Team Standings". NAQT. 29 March 2013. Retrieved 6 October 2015.
  16. ^ Rosenberg, Ryan (14 July 2014). "PACE Officers 2014-2015". hsquizbowl.org. Retrieved 6 October 2015.
  17. ^ Zhang, Marianna (13 July 2015). "PACE Officers 2015-2016". hsquizbowl.org. Retrieved 6 October 2015.
  18. ^ "About PACE". Partnership for Academic Competition Excellence. Retrieved 18 October 2015.
Preceded by
Greg Seroka
Biggest Jeopardy! winners by season
2015–16
Succeeded by
Seth Wilson
Preceded by
Michael Bilow
Biggest one-day winners on Jeopardy! by season
2015–16
Succeeded by
Joe Nguyen