Jonathan Michael Goodson was born on August 20, 1945 in New York City, New York. His parents are Mark Goodson and Bluma Neveleff. He received a B.A. at Stanford University in 1967, and an L.L.B. from Yale Law School in 1970.
Jonathan first joined his father's production company Goodson-Todman Productions in 1973 as chief counsel. He later produced several game shows for Mark Goodson Productions until December 1992, when his father passed away. Jonathan took over the company beginning in early 1993 and ran it until 1995 when the company was sold to All-American Television.
Jonathan formed his own production company in January 1996, Jonathan Goodson Productions. His company has mostly produced state-based lottery game shows. He holds the distinction of being the most successful creator and producer of lottery game shows in televison history.
Jonathan formed Goodson Gaming in early 2010. Later that year, he formed a joint venture, Velocity Gaming, with Foxwoods Development Company.