Jim Nantz Feb 11, 2024; Paradise, Nevada, USA; Kansas City Chiefs head coach Andy Reid celebrates while being interviewed by CBS commentator Jim Nantz after winning Super Bowl LVIII against the San Francisco 49ers at Allegiant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Jim Nantz etched his name in history as the voice of Super Bowl LVIII, which became the most-watched telecast ever.

Super Bowl LVIII’s overtime thriller saw the Kansas City Chiefs edge out the San Francisco 49ers. The CBS broadcast, featuring the duo of Nantz and Tony Romo, capped off the night with a memorable final call from CBS’ lead play-by-play voice.

“Mahomes slings it. It’s there, Hardman! Jackpot, Kansas City!”

During a recent appearance on the What the Football with Suzy Shuster and Amy Trask podcast, Nantz called the experience “gratifying” before delving into what went into his final call of “jackpot.”

“I was trying to think of something as they were going down the field, said the 64-year-old Nantz. “I just had this sense that they were gonna go score a touchdown after San Francisco kept the football for a half a quarter basically in the overtime and ended up with a field goal. I could just feel the Mahomes magic on the way; they were going to go down the field, and they were going to score. I was starting to play in my head: what would be a good word to address this? And the word ‘jackpot’ was kind of what came to mind. I hope it made sense to people. That’s what felt right to me at the moment.”

The Las Vegas-themed reference, a nod to the game’s location (Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas, Nevada) and a fitting capstone to a thrilling overtime, instantly resonated with millions of viewers nationwide.

Prior to the moment that culminated in Mecole Hardman catching a game-winning touchdown, the 49ers won the coin toss to begin overtime. Though both teams were guaranteed the ball in overtime, the 49ers, surprisingly, chose to receive first with their defense appearing fatigued, as noted by Nantz earlier.

“Well, of course, we were facing a first-ever situation with these new postseason overtime rules, and I addressed it with Tony right away, and he broke it down. He was the one who said that (Kyle Shanahan) would probably want to keep his defense off the field. But, my hunch was that I’d rather have the ball second, but nobody pays me to coach a football team. I would just rather know what I have to do, to either go tie the game or go win the game. And we don’t have enough data to know what the right answer is.

“But I had some thoughts in my head: was it right, was it wrong? And I’m not sure we actually know the answer. I think if San Francisco had just made another play there down inside the 10-yard line, it could’ve been a different result. Plus, there was a fourth and inches play, where they had one stop to make early in that drive, that would’ve won the game on a defensive play. I don’t know, it was a lot of thoiughts circulating in your head. You know, it feels like it’s in slow motion, to be honest. You’ve done so many games, you have the reps, and you kind of get lost in that bubble, and it’s a great feeling.”

Nantz continued thoughts of great feeling as he said he felt good about the Super Bowl broadcast that CBS put together.

“You hit the jackpot, so to speak, with not only the highest audience on CBS and overall, on an average basis, of over 123 million people watching at any one time,” said Nantz. “It actually was consumed at one point or another by 202 or 203 million people. You think two-thirds of the country at some point were watching the Super Bowl — it’s staggering. You can’t think of it while you’re doing it, but I’m just really proud to be part of this team. We got a team that’s got a lot of pride and really cares, and we walked into one of the great games we’ve ever had.”

Seven Super Bowls in, Nantz finally got the dream call he’d been waiting for – a nail-biter he’ll never forget.

“I had never been the beneficiary of really having a game like this,” he said. “I’d have a lot of stinkers, if you will, like the Rams and Patriots game a few years back; there was only one snap in the Red Zone the entire game. I just wanted and needed a riveting, down-to-the-wire finish, and I got more than I could’ve asked for.”

[What the football with Suzy Shuster and Amy Trask]

About Sam Neumann

Since the beginning of 2023, Sam has been a staff writer for Awful Announcing and The Comeback. A 2021 graduate of Temple University, Sam is a Charlotte native, who currently calls Greenville, South Carolina his home. He also has a love/hate relationship with the New York Mets and Jets.