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

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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

Chucky’s cheese Last week’s luckiest jackpot winner was: a) the person in South Carolina who bought a $1.6 billion Mega Millions ticket. Dwight Perry / Sideline Chatter, The Seattle Times, "Sideline Chatter: A red card for that? Soccer’s getting soft," 26 Oct. 2018 If there is no jackpot winner, the amount grows larger for the next drawing. Carlie Kollath Wells, NOLA.com, "Powerball ticket worth $50,000 sold in Lafourche Parish. Here's where.," 4 June 2018 More than 4 million tickets, including the jackpot winner, won prizes from Saturday’s drawing. Kristine Phillips, Washington Post, "Powerball says one ticket holder won the $559.7 million jackpot, one of the largest in history," 7 Jan. 2018 Because there was a jackpot winner, the grand prize resets at $40 million for the next drawing. Staff, cleveland.com, "Comment here on cleveland.com court and crime stories for Sunday, Jan. 7, 2018," 7 Jan. 2018 No one person in Texas has won the big Texas Lotto jackpot since January. Craig Hlavaty, Houston Chronicle, "Check your ticket. Someone in Houston won $20 million in Texas Lotto," 17 May 2018 At the end, the player with the most points will win (or split) the jackpot. Chaim Gartenberg, The Verge, "HQ Trivia looks to expand with HQ Words, a new Wheel of Fortune-style game," 18 Sep. 2018 Vesey won a $1,500 lottery jackpot in 1799 ($31,000 in today’s dollars) and purchased his freedom for $600. Jonathan D. Cohen, Vox, "How lottery money helped build the United States," 24 Oct. 2018 Cisneros, a Navy veteran and one-time Republican who won a $266 million lottery jackpot with his wife, describes his candidacy as the next step in a life committed to public service, which started with his time in the military. Michael R. Blood, The Seattle Times, "Changing Orange County, California, gives Democrats hope," 16 Oct. 2018

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.

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First Known Use of jackpot

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

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Statistics for jackpot

Last Updated

18 Apr 2019

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Time Traveler for jackpot

The first known use of jackpot was in 1865

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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



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

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More from Merriam-Webster on jackpot

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with jackpot

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for 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).


not to be persuaded, moved, or stopped

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