"Boom!" 5 reasons to love Jeopardy’s new star Matt Jackson

The 23-year-old paralegal has won $230,610 on an eight day hot streak

Published October 8, 2015 7:31PM (EDT)


Matt Jackson, a 23-year-old paralegal from Washington, D.C., has won $230,610 on an 8-day "Jeopardy" victory lap. Perhaps more importantly, he has also won the love of the Internet, giving us not just the most thrilling "Jeopardy" hot streak since Ken Jennings, but also some of the funniest and most meme-able show moments in years (apart from the time a contestant got Alex Trebek to say "Turd Ferguson," naturally).

Here are five reasons to fall in love with Matt Jackson:

His smile

Matt Jackson begins every episode with a smile, and it is a sight to behold: A vaguely sinister, slow-burn smile that ranks up there with the Joker's satanic grimace and Vanessa Bayer’s toothy beam as one of the great pop-culture grins of our generation.


His catchphrase

Jackson got really excited after correctly responding to a Daily Double clue during his fourth game, shouting “boom!” and pounding his palm against his fist. Despite only happening once, the internet instantly latched on to the moment and elevated it to catchphrase status.

He’s not afraid to steamroll Alex Trebek

Jackson is an intense, hyper-focused speed demon, so much so that Trebek sometimes has to tell him to slow down. We love it. (As fake Sean Connery would say: Suck it, Trebek!)

His love of “Hamilton”

Much like the rest of us, Matt Jackson can’t get enough of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s hip-hop history musical “Hamilton," explaining that he prepared for his appearance on the show by repeating "I am not throwing away my shot” — a line from the show -- over and over again.

He’s making "Jeopardy" cool again:

“Jeopardy” is the kind of thing that tends to fade in and out of the conversation, only really galvanizing public interest when it has some sort of genuine suspense or narrative arc to it. But the combination of a compelling character like Jackson and the prospect of another Jennings-level winning streak is the kind of thing that easily turns the show from casual viewing to must-see TV.

Lin-Manuel agrees:

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By Anna Silman

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