From: Washington D.C.
All-time winnings: 611,612
Matt Jackson first grabbed national attention with his smile and celebrations for correct answers, before shocking everyone with his rapid-fire gameplay. He signed up after being inspired by a friend's victory in the college tournament and prepared for competition by reading books by Ken Jennings and Bob Harris about their experiences, which netted him a 13-day winning streak and $411,612 in cash. His mantra for the competition was apparently, “I am not throwing away my shot,” a line from the musical “Hamilton.”