Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. The accumulated stakes in a kind of poker that requires one to hold a pair of jacks or better in order to open the betting.
  • n. A cumulative pool in a competition, lottery, or various other games.
  • n. A top prize or reward.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A difficult situation.
  • n. A jumble of felled timber.
  • n. A money prize pool which accumulates until the conditions are met for it to be won.
  • n. A large cash prize or money.
  • n. An unexpected windfall or reward.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. the name given to the stakes, contributions to which are made by each player successively, till such a hand is turned as shall take the “pot,” which is the sum total of all the bets. See also jackpot.
  • n. Same as jack pot. See under jack.
  • n. Any larger-than-usual gambling prize formed by the accumulation of unwon bets.
  • n. The highest gambling prize awarded in a gambling game in which smaller prizes are also awarded, especially such a prize on a slot machine.
  • n. An unusually large success in an enterprise, either unexpected or unpredictable, esp. one providing a great financial benefit.
  • n. See under 2d Jack.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. In draw-poker, a pot or pool in which the ante must be repeated until some player can open the betting with a pair of jacks or better.
  • n. In lumbering, an unskilful piece of work.
  • n. A pile of logs.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. any outstanding award
  • n. the cumulative amount involved in a game (such as poker)

Etymologies

Unknown (Wiktionary)
Also jack-pot, "big prize," 1944, from slot machine sense (1932), from obsolete poker sense (1881) of antes that begin when no player has a pair of jacks or better; from jack (n.) in the card-playing sense + pot (1). Earlier, in criminal slang, it meant "trouble," especially "an arrest" (1902). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • ANDY SCOTT guided the Bees towards the title jackpot and roared: Let's go to Vegas

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  • Add this to a handful of other divestments in power, energy and minerals companies, and a jackpot from the sale of telecom airwaves, and the government has netted itself a cool $29 billion this year.

    Testing New Delhi's Fiscal Fitness

  • People play the machines because they expect a large short-term jackpot, while the machines are in fact programmed to pay off, say, $0.80 on the dollar in the long term.

    An Introduction to Ecological Economics~ Chapter 3

  • [De Grey's] "M Prize" competition for longevity research topped $1M in jackpot last week.

    Boing Boing: March 13, 2005 - March 19, 2005 Archives

  • The story was full of tales claiming to illustrate Americans 'overarching sense of legal entitlement and desire to "win a jackpot from a system that allows sympathetic juries to award plaintiffs not just real damages … but millions more for the impossible-to-measure' pain and suffering 'and highly arbitrary' punitive damages. '"

    October 2004

  • Tonight's jackpot is short of breaking the European record set by a single ticket on the Italian SuperEnalotto game which banked £128.3 million on August 22 last year.

    Telegraph.co.uk: news, business, sport, the Daily Telegraph newspaper, Sunday Telegraph

  • ANDY SCOTT guided the Bees towards the League Two title jackpot - and then roared: Let's all go to Vegas.

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  • My mom used to tell me that she "hit the jackpot" when she had me ... and I got this weird idea that this laundry line device* in the backyard was the 'jackpot' - because she was always hitting it, trying to get the lines to feed properly.

    January 24th, 2006

  • The jackpot was the fifth-largest in the multistate game's history.

    7 N.Y. state IT workers are Mega Millons winners

  • The jackpot was the fifth-largest in the multistate game's history, and the largest to have just one winning ticket.

    Winners of $319M Mega Millions jackpot claim their prize

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