What is Jackpot in The Peripheral?

Prime Video’s ‘The Peripheral’ has introduced several new sci-fi terms to the fans, and an original one among them is something called “Jackpot”; here’s what the term actually entails.

The Peripheral’s latest instalment introduces the fans to a new term the characters refer to the destruction of the world by — Jackpot.

When Flynne, and the viewers, have had enough of Wilf and his friends’ secrecy about their bizarre-looking and scarcely populated future world, Ash and Wilf finally shed some light on the harrowing events that led their world to its concurrent state.

They take her to a graveyard where Ash and Wilf show her a holographic projected presentation that is sort of like a museum.

Ash explains that the “Jackpot” happened not all at once, but in stages and over a long period of time.

What is a Jackpot?

Jackpot is a term for the apocalypse that rendered Wilf’s world scarcely and bizarre. All the people vanished, leaving only a few who managed to survive through extreme measures and extreme advancement of technology.

Wilf explains that calling the apocalypse “Jackpot” is mostly gallows humour. He also says that Apocalypse would have sounded a bit portentous.

jackpot the peripheral
Image source: Prime Video

Stage one: A world gone dark

The first wave of the apocalypse or Jackpot came when the electric grid failure happened in North America, thanks to hackers.

It would give rise to months-long and content-wide blackouts. Eventually, it began occurring all over the world, becoming commonplace.

The increasingly common phenomenon would go on to contribute to an even worse fate for the world.

Stage Two: The pandemic

Following the blackouts that must have already dealt a grim blow to the world, a truly morbid pandemic spread out all over the world.

Two years after the blackouts (that started in 2039, not too long after Flynne’s present), the Filovirus caused a pandemic called the “Blood Plague.”

The pandemic was brutal and it targeted the humans’ spleen, liver, and intestines. Their body parts would fill with blood until the abdomen burst, causing a truly agonizing and horrific scenario of grand-scale societal ruin.

Stage three: Defunct environment

Then transpired a series of environmental failures. The crops failed, and so did antibiotics. The animals soon started being affected as well.

As a result of all the aforementioned catastrophes, the human population had nothing to survive on, resulting in a harrowing dip.

In just a bit over four decades, more than seven billion humans died. But there was a final nail in the coffin that levelled America — a nuclear attack.

It came thanks to domestic terrorists, who attacked a nuclear missile silo in Spring Creek, South Carolina. When it blew, it all got grazed to the ground.

Jackpot and what it means for Flynne

Flynne couldn’t keep watching this annihilation, and when she saw the nuclear explosion taking place where she lives, she asks Ash and Wilf to stop the projection.

Flynne, due to her being contacted by Wilf and others in his timeline, now lives in an alternate timeline. Her timeline doesn’t necessarily have to follow Wilf’s world’s timeline of events.

It’s because the alternate timeline can’t be the same as Wilf’s.

The degree of difference between the two timelines can be anything, and if Flynne doesn’t want her world to go the same route as Wilf’s, she has to ensure that the difference between the two worlds is significantly large.

The viewers might see her and her friends try to alter the course of events in her world so that it doesn’t succumb to the harrowing apocalypse as Wilf’s world did in his timeline.


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