Scrabble Cheat Busted at National Championship

Young player was spotted hiding blank tiles

By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff

Posted Aug 15, 2012 1:30 AM CDT | Updated Aug 15, 2012 4:31 AM CDT

(Newser) – A young Scrabble player has been ejected—or, for a higher word score, expelled—from the national championship tournament in Florida for cheating. Organizers say the player was busted after a player at another table watched him conceal a pair of blank "wild card" tiles, the AP reports. When confronted by the tournament director, the young man confessed. Organizers are not identifying the player by name or age because he is a minor.

Organizers say the player kept the blank tiles at the end of one game, apparently hoping to use them in the next one; he had made it to Round 24 of the 28-round event. Cheaters have been caught at regional events but this is the first case uncovered at the national championship, says the executive director of the National Scrabble Association. "It does happen no matter what. People will try to do this," he says. "It's the first time it's happened in a venue this big though. It's unfortunate. The Scrabble world is abuzz. The Internet is abuzz."

The top prize at the national championship is $10,000.
The top prize at the national championship is $10,000.   (AP Photo/Matt Dunham, File)
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