jack·​pot | \ ˈjak-ˌpät How to pronounce jackpot (audio) \

Definition of jackpot

1a : the top prize in a game or contest (such as a lottery) that is typically a large fund of money formed by the accumulation of unwon prizes
b(1) : a hand or game of draw poker in which a pair of jacks or better is required to open
(2) : a large pot (as in poker) formed by the accumulation of stakes from previous play
c(1) : a combination on a slot machine that wins a top prize or all the coins available for paying out
(2) : the sum so won
2 : an impressive often unexpected success or reward
3 chiefly Western US : a tight spot : jam

Keep scrolling for more

Examples of jackpot in a Sentence

The lottery jackpot is up to one million dollars. a wily dude who managed to get himself out of one jackpot after another
Recent Examples on the Web Friday’s Mega Millions jackpot is $208 million, while Saturday’s Powerball prize is $90 million. Cliff Pinckard, cleveland, "Mega Millions, Powerball jackpots near $300 million combined; Ohio Lottery results," 22 Nov. 2019 In Week 12 of the 2019 season, the NFL schedule-makers hit the jackpot. Mark Inabinett | Minabinett@al.com, al, "NFL Week 12: Fans get prime-time bonanza," 21 Nov. 2019 One resident of Cedar Park in Austin is set to be $227 million richer after winning the Mega Millions jackpot from the Texas lottery Tuesday night. Rebecca Hennes, Houston Chronicle, "Check your tickets - $227M jackpot winning lottery ticket sold in Austin," 25 Sep. 2019 If no one wins, the Mega Millions jackpot will get bigger for the next drawing. National Desk, oregonlive, "Mega Millions numbers: Did you win Friday’s $393 million lottery jackpot?," 24 May 2019 Wednesday’s Powerball jackpot is $30 million, while the Classic Lotto prize is $5.9 million. Cliff Pinckard, cleveland, "Mega Millions winning numbers for 11/19/2019; jackpot $192 million," 19 Nov. 2019 Wednesday night Bingo at the Elkridge Volunteer Fire Department continues with the doors opening at 5:30 p.m., games start at 6:45 p.m., with Early Birds at 7 p.m. and regular bingo kicking off at 7:15 p.m. There is $1,000 jackpot. Susan Harrison, baltimoresun.com, "Hair Station owner cuts back but is still styling; last day for Food Truck Fridays in Elkridge this week," 7 Nov. 2019 During the years of debate over whether to allow casinos in Massachusetts, proponents invariably returned to this point: The state was losing out on a revenue jackpot enjoyed by Connecticut and other states where gambling was legal. BostonGlobe.com, "Massachusetts casinos keep missing their revenue targets. What’s wrong? - The Boston Globe," 5 Nov. 2019 There are three remaining $1 million jackpot prizes still up for grabs, the lottery says. Ryan Prior, CNN, "A man in Maryland has won a $1 million in the lottery for the second time," 1 Nov. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'jackpot.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of jackpot

1865, in the meaning defined at sense 1b(1)

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about jackpot

Time Traveler for jackpot

Time Traveler

The first known use of jackpot was in 1865

See more words from the same year

Statistics for jackpot

Last Updated

7 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Jackpot.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/jackpot. Accessed 10 December 2019.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for jackpot



Financial Definition of jackpot

What It Is

A jackpot is a big winning -- often the largest a competition or event has to offer.

How It Works

Let's say John Doe goes to Las Vegas to get away from his wife for a few days. He puts a few dollars in a slot machine and pulls the handle. Three red cherries pop up, lights start flashing, and music starts playing. John has won a $250,000 jackpot -- the largest payout the slot machines offer. He collects his winnings and leaves his wife, who later sues him for half.

Why It Matters

In the finance world, a jackpot is similar to a windfall -- it is an amount of money that is usually unexpected and usually very large. Jackpots can be the result of investing in IPOs that do well, holding onto a stock that everybody else left for dead, or investing in assets that were undervalued.

Note, however, that when you win a jackpot, the IRS does too -- income is taxable, regardless of whether it was expected.

Source: Investing Answers


How to pronounce jackpot (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of jackpot

: a usually large amount of money won in a game of chance


jack·​pot | \ ˈjak-ˌpät How to pronounce jackpot (audio) \

Kids Definition of jackpot

1 : a large amount of money to be won
2 : a large and often unexpected success or reward

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on jackpot

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for jackpot

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with jackpot

Spanish Central: Translation of jackpot

Nglish: Translation of jackpot for Spanish Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about jackpot

Comments on jackpot

What made you want to look up jackpot? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to state or do over again or repeatedly

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Semantic Drift Quiz

  • a twisty river
  • Which of the following was once a synonym for fun?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Syn City

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!