What is Jackpot?
Jackpot is a race requiring a diverse knowledge base, strong puzzle solving
abilities, good navigational skills, and mental and physical endurance. For
over 24 sleepless hours, teams become involved in an unfolding story by
finding hidden information about the characters, locations and objects they
encounter. The adventure lasts an entire weekend and may cover hundreds of
miles. In essence, Jackpot can be defined as interactive competitive
performance art, in which the players are integral participants.
Trails of clues have been left by pranksters and madmen since curiosity
killed its first cat. Treasure maps and riddles, scavenger hunts and
detective stories, these are the colors in Jackpot's palette. From unlocking
the secrets of the Rosetta Stone to cracking the human genome, man has
relished any opportunity to uncover buried information. Oedipus solved the
Riddle of the Sphinx, Thomas Beale left a cryptic legacy of treasure, Alan
Turing ran puzzle races. Jackpot follows in all of their footsteps.
More recently, several universities have spawned versions of puzzle-solving
competitions, fueled by their large pool of young, intelligent and
fun-seeking students. Jackpot has grown out of one of these incarnations, an
annual Stanford University tradition in the San Francisco Bay Area commonly
referred to as the Game. A strong community of past and present students and
other like-minded people has grown and evolved over the last fifteen years.
The concept is now more popular than ever, having spread to Seattle, New
York, and points beyond.
Jackpot is the next stage of this evolution, attempting to bring together
the existing communities and extend the event to a wide audience while
staying true to its spirit. Jackpot aims to be bigger, better, more fair and
more fun than any such event ever run.
To get a taste of what this event is like, check out the wrapup section, which has
descriptions, clues, and pictures of Jackpot: Pyrite's Last
Deal, run in Las Vegas in April 2002.