Scrabble Whiz Uses 'Braconid' to Claim World Title

That's good for 176 points
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Sep 6, 2016 3:20 PM CDT
Scrabble Whiz Uses 'Braconid' to Claim World Title
File photo: Not the winning board.   (AP Photo/Hazleton Standard-Speaker Ellen F. O'Connell)

A braconid is a parasitic wasp and, if played correctly, also a 176-point Scrabble word. Over the weekend, a 37-year-old London resident took advantage of that latter fact to win the World Scrabble Championship in France, reports the Guardian. Brett Smitheram, a recruitment consultant, swept his opponent in three rounds to claim the title. Some secrets to Smitheram's success: He has a photographic memory and spent several hours each night reading the dictionary in preparation for the competition, reports the New York Times. Other key words in his victory: gynaecia, periagua, and zorinos. In addition to Scrabble glory, he takes home about $8,000 in winnings. (Read more Scrabble stories.)

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