Matt Jackson (Jeopardy! contestant)
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.
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. After two unsuccessful attempts to enter the college tournament, he auditioned for the regular show in 2014 and was selected as a contestant. 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. He studied by reading previous champions' books on the experience, such as Ken Jennings’s Brainiac and Bob Harris's Prisoner of Trebekistan.
Jackson initially drew attention for his slow smile while being introduced at the beginning of each show. After his first victory, he began using his fingers to display the number of wins in his streak. Jackson also became known for his buzzer speed and for quickly moving onto the next question after giving a correct response. 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.
On November 11, 2015, he won his quarterfinal game in that year's Jeopardy! Tournament of Champions, and moved on to the next round. 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.
Early life and quizbowl career
Jackson grew up in Washington, D.C. and attended Georgetown Day School. 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. 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.
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 and the National Academic Quiz Tournaments Intercollegiate Championship Tournament 2013 (division I); Jackson served as president of the Partnership for Academic Competition Excellence (PACE), a nonprofit promoting the spread of quizbowl, for the 2014–15 year. He works as a paralegal in D.C.
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