jackpot

noun jack·pot \ ˈjak-ˌpät \
Updated on: 13 Oct 2017

Definition of jackpot

1 a :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

Examples of jackpot in a Sentence

  1. The lottery jackpot is up to one million dollars.

  2. a wily dude who managed to get himself out of one jackpot after another

Recent Examples of jackpot from the Web

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.

First Known Use of jackpot

1865


Financial Definition of JACKPOT

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.


JACKPOT Defined for English Language Learners

jackpot

noun

Definition of jackpot for English Language Learners

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


JACKPOT Defined for Kids

jackpot

noun jack·pot \ ˈjak-ˌpät \

Definition of jackpot for Students

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


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