Jack Hurst

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See also : Josh Hurst
Jack Hurst, the former Countdown record holder.

Jack Hurst was an octochamp and the champion of Series 63, and was the runner-up of the 30th Birthday Championship.

Hurst made his debut on 13 October 2010 and established himself as a Countdown legend from the get-go, getting a nine-letter word in the first round of his career and solving his first conundrum in 0.1 seconds, not the only time he would achieve this. He convincingly won all 8 of his preliminary matches, achieving a high score of 133 (one of the highest ever) as well as a low of 110. In addition, he found niners in all but two of his heats.

When the dust settled, Hurst had accrued 946 points, more than twice the total of all his opponents combined and the then highest total for any octochamp in the history of the show, beating the previous record set by Andrew Hulme in Series 61. Hurst was also one of very few players in history to score centuries in all eight of his heat games, and the only player to score above 110 in all eight heat games. Following a change to the show's format in March 2013, his octochamp total was also confirmed as the highest ever achieved in what became known as the "old" 15-round format.

Hurst had appeared only a few weeks after the previous player to achieve eight centuries, Eoin Monaghan, and it was no coincidence that these two contestants would play each other in the grand final. Nonetheless, he was still #1 seed by nearly 50 points, and easily saw off Peter Godwin when he returned for the quarter-finals. However, feeling confident after his quarter-final, he was brought up against Marcus Hares, and Hares was no pushover. It took the impressive word NARIYALS, a mistake from Hares when he declared UNTITLED as a 7, and a truly amazing numbers game from Hurst, reminiscent of that of James Martin, before the game was settled.

The grand final against Eoin Monaghan was a close game, with Hurst only beating Monaghan in one letters and one numbers round, but it was enough to duck out of a crucial conundrum, and he finished off with a flourish by solving SMARTIACE in 0.25 seconds, the fastest ever conundrum spot in a final (beating even Jeffrey Hansford). Hurst racked up a total of 1,276 points, and scored at least 108 in every game he played (averaging 116).

He returned to Countdown in 2013, as one of 41 contestants taking part in the 30th Birthday Championship. He won his first match against Series 65 semi-finalist Mark Deeks by a score of 108 – 103. He then beat the Series 28 runner-up Wayne Kelly, scoring 143 points in the process, the 2nd highest score in the history of the show. He then defeated the Series 47 champion Chris Wills in round 2, setting up a quarter-final with Series 58 champion David O'Donnell, winning the match by 115 – 97, needing a crucial conundrum for the first time on the show. The next day, he was up against Series 66 runner-up Jonathan Rawlinson in a titanic encounter. After drawing the first 10 rounds, Rawlinson took a 6 point lead after Hurst's gamble with hammies backfired, but Hurst then took a 1 point lead after spotting AUTOPSY, then he sealed the win by solving the conundrum STRONTIUM in 3 seconds.

The grand final of the championships took place on 1 March, when Hurst played the Series 54 champion Conor Travers. Travers, who had scored perfect games in his previous 3 matches took an early lead in round 3, when he spotted the niner PONYTAILS, and the only points he dropped from there were the 3 for not reaching the target in the first numbers game. Hurst's challenge ended when he missed POMADES in round 13, leaving Travers to max the final 2 rounds to equal the highest ever score in the show's history with 146. Hurst did still score 111 points, meaning that his lowest score from his 17 shows was still 108.


Preceded by
Oliver Garner
Series winner
Series 63
Followed by
Edward McCullagh
Preceded by
Heather Styles
Series runner-up
30th Birthday Championship
Followed by
Andy Platt

Episodes

# Date Type Contestant 1 Score Contestant 2 Guest Lex Max
5131 13/10/2010 P Andrew Greenway 66 – 114 Jack Hurst David Lloyd Susie Dent 124
5132 14/10/2010 P Jack Hurst 120 – 57 Ailsa Jensen David Lloyd Susie Dent 136
5133 15/10/2010 P Jack Hurst 112 – 46 David Smith David Lloyd Susie Dent 115
5134 18/10/2010 P Jack Hurst 122 – 44 Charlie Clarke Alistair McGowan Susie Dent 141
5135 19/10/2010 P Jack Hurst 120 – 56 Phil Bishop Alistair McGowan Susie Dent 131
5136 20/10/2010 P Jack Hurst 115 – 29 Joseph Bartram Alistair McGowan Susie Dent 119
5137 21/10/2010 P Jack Hurst 133 – 65 Alex Curran Alistair McGowan Susie Dent 134
5138 22/10/2010 P Jack Hurst 110 – 49 Jonathan Welti Alistair McGowan Susie Dent 131
5172 9/12/2010 QF Jack Hurst 108 – 40 Peter Godwin Amanda Lamb Susie Dent 114
5176 15/12/2010 SF Marcus Hares 80 – 109 Jack Hurst Paul Zenon Susie Dent 118
5178 17/12/2010 GF Jack Hurst 113 – 85 Eoin Monaghan Paul Zenon Susie Dent 114
5617 9/01/2013 30BP Mark Deeks 103 – 108 Jack Hurst Dave Myers Susie Dent 120
5636 5/02/2013 30B1 Wayne Kelly 89 – 143 Jack Hurst Kate Adie Susie Dent 152
5643 14/02/2013 30B2 Chris Wills 70 – 115 Jack Hurst Ken Bruce Susie Dent 119
5651 26/02/2013 30BQF Jack Hurst 115 – 97 David O'Donnell Jenny Eclair Susie Dent 122
5652 27/02/2013 30BSF Jonathan Rawlinson 105 – 116 Jack Hurst Jenny Eclair Susie Dent 126
5654 1/03/2013 30BGF Jack Hurst 111 – 146 Conor Travers Jenny Eclair Susie Dent 149

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