follow Dictionary.com

Why is the ninth month called September?

jackpot

[jak-pot] /ˈdʒækˌpɒt/
noun
1.
the chief prize or the cumulative stakes in a game or contest, as in bingo, a quiz contest, or a slot machine.
2.
Poker. a pot that accumulates until a player opens the betting with a pair of predetermined denomination, usually jacks or better.
Idioms
3.
an outstanding reward or success.
4.
hit the jackpot, Informal.
  1. to achieve a sensational success; have sudden luck:
    The firm has hit the jackpot with its new line of computers.
  2. to win a jackpot.
Origin
1880-1885
1880-85, Americanism; of uncertain origin
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source
British Dictionary definitions for hit the jackpot

jackpot

/ˈdʒækˌpɒt/
noun
1.
any large prize, kitty, or accumulated stake that may be won in gambling, such as a pool in poker that accumulates until the betting is opened with a pair of jacks or higher
2.
hit the jackpot
  1. to win a jackpot
  2. (informal) to achieve great success, esp through luck
Word Origin
C20: probably from jack1 (playing card) + pot1
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for hit the jackpot

jackpot

n.

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 (n.1). Earlier, in criminal slang, it meant "trouble," especially "an arrest" (1902).

The regular Draw-Poker game is usually varied by occasional Jack-Pots, which are played once in so many deals, or when all have refused to play, or when the player deals who holds the buck, a marker placed in the pool with every jack-pot. In a jack-pot each player puts up an equal stake and receives a hand. The pot must then be opened by a player holding a hand of the value of a pair of knaves (jacks) or better. If no player holds so valuable a hand the deal passes and each player adds a small sum to the pot or pool. When the pot is opened the opener does so by putting up any sum he chooses, within the limit, and his companions must pay in the same amount or "drop." They also possess the right to raise the opener. The new cards called for are then dealt and the opener starts the betting, the play proceeding as in the regular game. ["Encyclopaedia Britannica," 11th ed., 1911, "Poker." The article notes "Jack-Pots were introduced about 1870."]

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
Slang definitions & phrases for hit the jackpot

hit the jackpot

verb phrase

To win or succeed spectacularly; get the most available: I hit the jackpot with this new job (1944+)


jackpot

noun

The largest win available in a slot machine

Related Terms

hit the jackpot

[1940s+ Gambling; fr the progressive jack pot in poker, which stipulates that if no player has a pair of jacks or better to open, then on the next hand, after anteing again, someone must have queens or better, and so on; thus the pot could become quite large; the poker use, ''a very large win,'' is found by 1881]


The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
Cite This Source
Idioms and Phrases with hit the jackpot
Be highly successful, especially unexpectedly; win, especially a lot of money. For example, She hit the jackpot at the auction; that platter turned out to be genuine Meissen. This term comes from a form of poker in which a hand can be opened only if one holds at least a pair of jacks (or higher). Often a number of hands must be dealt before anyone can open, and since players must put in money for each round, the jackpot, or total amount held, is apt to be quite large. [ Early 1900s ]
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for jackpot

Few English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for hit

6
5
Scrabble Words With Friends