Why is a lottery winning called a “jackpot”?

A jackpot is any large amount of money won through gambling. The word comes from a game of draw poker in which only a player dealt a pair of jacks or better can open.

Several hands are usually dealt before this happens, and with each deal the players must add to the ante, which can grow to a considerable amount of money — the “jack” pot. When two jacks are finally dealt and a player opens the betting, the winner will take the jackpot.