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]


  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. ^
  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". 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". Retrieved 6 October 2015.
  17. ^ Zhang, Marianna (13 July 2015). "PACE Officers 2015-2016". 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
Succeeded by
Seth Wilson
Preceded by
Michael Bilow
Biggest one-day winners on Jeopardy! by season
Succeeded by
Joe Nguyen