Season 32 of the America’s favorite quiz show, “Jeopardy!“ may only be in its third week of airing, but contestant Matt Jackson has already made a name for himself not only in the program’s current season, but in “Jeopardy!” history as well.
The 23-year-old paralegal from Washington had a 13-day winning streak that earns him a spot in the top four all-time regular season money winning list with $411,612, falling behind to only Julia Collins, who earned $428,000 during her 20 day winning streak, Dave Madden, who finished his 19 day streak with $432,400, and first place top-money winner, Ken Jennings who ended his 74-day streak with 2,520,700. Jackson’s incredible 13-day performance on the show is certainly something he should and is proud of, but he admits that it took a lot of hard work and mental preparation to be so successful on the show.
Click here to read Jackson’s own words on the his training methods overall Jeopardy! experience.
Jackson’s time on “Jeopardy!” ended Wednesday, October 14th when Michael Baker, a travel media editor from New York, came out on top after a close game between the two men. Up until this match with Baker, all of Jackson’s previous wins were runaways.
His knowledge and trivia skills prevented opposing contestants to even end up with a score close to those of the returning champion. Baker on the other hand, gave a performance that threatened Jackson’s hopes of keeping his place as the returning “Jeopardy!” champion.
This threat however, did not panic Jackson and his game never faltered. In fact, he appeared as confident and calm in this particular match as he did in the previous matches where he would completely sweep the board.
During a commercial break, Jackson even pointed out an error that judges missed, completely aware that pointing it out would negatively effect his score. Jackson chose an $800 daily-double clue from the category, “Words That Begin with ‘A’” Rather than giving the correct answer, “au” (the French term meaning “with the”), Jackson answered, “Al” The judges and host, Alex Trebek mistakenly believed that Jackson gave the right answer but just pronounced it incorrectly.
Jackson’s answer was considered acceptable. But when the break ended, Trebek made the announcement that Jackson approached the judges and told them that he did in fact think and said that the answer was “al”, therefore his answer should be incorrect. The $1600 deducted from his score however, settled easier with the fair, honest competitor than if he took the lead of the competition without truly deserving it.
The match was exciting and unpredictable With scores were so close and contestants so evenly-matched, it almost seemed pointless to consider either competitor “in first place” or “in second place” in this tug o’ war until the very end.
The close competition kept the contestants on their feet, and the excitement kept the viewers on the edges of their seats.