New father Adrian Lewis eyeing the jackpot at World Darts Championship

In a sport in which every player has a nickname, Adrian Lewis is one of the few to have earned his moniker.

Judging by another blistering display as he reached the third round of the PDC World Darts Championship, the man they call Jackpot is also beginning to live up to it.

Lewis towered above both the Alexandra Palace crowd and his opponent Wes Newton to stay on course for a quarter-final against his mentor and 14-times world champion Phil Taylor.

Adrian Lewis

One-armed bandit: Lewis throws during his victory over Newton

Averaging 103.68 during a 4-2 sets victory in which he recorded 12 maximum throws of 180, what mattered most was that the 24-year-old responded to a comeback from Newton and plenty of crowd baiting to demonstrate the growing maturity that fatherhood has brought him.

In the final climactic set, in which he roared back continually at the 2,000-strong crowd, Lewis threw a 116 average — a level of performance which even Taylor can maintain only in short bursts.

It is all a far cry from the setting in which his nickname was born. Competing in the Las Vegas Desert Classic in 2005, Lewis was playing on the slot machines when he struck lucky, rang the bells and won the casino’s $72,000 (around £45,000) jackpot.

There was one problem. He was only 20, a year under the legal gambling age in Nevada. Instead of collecting his winnings, it took the sweet talking of the darts hierarchy to prevent him being arrested.

Back then, Lewis was considered a certain world champion in the making. Hailing from Stoke, Taylor’s home town, he met ‘the Power’ as an 18-year-old.

Phil Taylor

The Power: Phil Taylor eased into the next round

Lewis recalls: ‘Phil said, “I’ve heard a lot about you. Would you mind coming up my mum’s and practising with me?”

'After half an hour of meeting him, he looked me up and down and said, “I’ll either make you or break you”.

‘But I’ve stopped practising with Phil now because he’s a mate and I didn’t have the anger within when I played him in a match. Since I broke away from him, we’ve had some really good games and, if I play him in the quarters, I think it will be a brilliant game.

'If I am going to win the world title, though, I want to beat Phil on the way. I don’t want to win a world title and not play Phil because to me I wouldn’t have won it in that case.’

The arrival of his baby girl, Myla, in August has also given Lewis a fresh focus on life.

Instead of listening to what others said about him, he is looking within, into the bosom of his family, to find inspiration and belief.

He will need it against Taylor, who has yet to drop a set after steamrolling ‘the Muffin Man’ Steve Hine 4-0 in 26 minutes of playing time.

The world champion is also savouring a quarter-final clash against his protege. Taylor said: ‘I think everyone wants me and Adrian to meet in the last eight. And that’s who I want to play now.

'I’m excited about it. He’s impressed me for a few matches now. If we do play in the last eight, you’re going to see the winner of the final come from that match.

'It will be a match that lights up the world championship.

‘Adrian’s done his apprenticeship. He’s becoming a man. He’s earned the right to be where he is and I couldn’t be any prouder of him if he was my own son.’