After a 13 day winning streak on the popular game show Jeopardy!, contestant and fan favorite Matthew Jackson was finally defeated last night in a nail biting match up, earning him a total of over $411k, and the fourth longest streak feat on the show. Jackson passed 2014 competitor Arthur Chu (11 wins) and ranked behind past contestants Ken Jennings (74 wins), Julia Collins (20 wins) and Dave Madden (19 wins).
Jackson, a 23 year-old paralegal from Washington D.C., appeared on Jeopardy! on Monday, October 28, and it became clear that the young brainiac was there to win. His quick fire responses and strange, yet determined demeanor left an impression on fans from the very beginning. His creepy smile and his “boom!” exclamations while celebrating a correct answer on difficult questions took the internet by storm.
The young champion was encouraged to join the show by college friend and a previous Jeopardy! contestant, Sam Spaulding, who took home $50,000 after earning a second place finish in the 2010 College Championship. After finally earning a spot on the show, Jackson told himself that he was not going to blow this opportunity. With the impressive legacy he has left behind on Jeopardy!, he definitely took advantage of his chance by destroying his competition up until his final match on Wednesday.
Unlike his previous competitions, Jackson started off the round much slower than usual, and although there were some instances that seemed to be his breakaway moment, fellow contestant Michael Baker wasn’t going down without a fight. At the end of Double Jeopardy, Baker trailed Jackson by just $200, and it all came down to the Final Jeopardy question. The question was in the category “US Landmarks” and read: “For its 50th anniversary in 2012, the roof of this landmark was temporarily painted its original color, Galaxy Gold.”
All three contestants could not figure out the correct response, which was the Space Needle, and when it was revealed that Jackson’s deductions would cost him the game, a slight gasp could be heard from the audience. Baker was declared the new champion, and Jackson graciously applauded with the audience as the show came to a close.
Although some may see Jackson as creepy and unsettling, many cannot deny that his final match showed him as nothing but classy. During the end of the first round, Jackson was rewarded for correctly answering a clue asking for the two letter French word meaning “with the”. However, during the commercial break, he informed the judges that he incorrectly pronounced the word, answering “au” when he meant to say “al”. This caused him to lose a good amount of cash, but earned the respect of the audience and Jeopardy! members.
Jackson’s winnings qualify him to compete once more on Jeopardy! in the Tournament of Champions from November 9th to November 20th. He plans to donate 10 percent to a charity of his choice, and many cannot wait to see how he will compete in this next competition.