Scrabble player caught cheating at national championship tourney - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

Scrabble player caught cheating at national championship tournament

Posted: Updated:
  • Viral StoriesMore>>

  • Family says 'no thanks' to cruise ship offer after boy's cancer cancels trip

    Family says 'no thanks' to cruise ship offer after boy's cancer cancels trip

    Thursday, July 31 2014 10:55 AM EDT2014-07-31 14:55:58 GMT
    The family of a 5-year-old boy forced to scrap their idyllic summer vacation after he was diagnosed with cancer, is saying “thanks, but no thanks” to a chance to re-book the trip after a cruise line had a change of heart. Citing the company’s cancellation policy, the parents of Nicolas Colucci said Norwegian Cruise Line had refused to accommodate them after they were forced to change plans for the June 1 $4,000 family-friendly cruise following their son’s cancer diagnosis on May 19. But...
    The family of a 5-year-old boy forced to scrap their idyllic summer vacation after he was diagnosed with cancer, is saying “thanks, but no thanks” to a chance to re-book the trip after a cruise line had a change of heart. Citing the company’s cancellation policy, the parents of Nicolas Colucci said Norwegian Cruise Line had refused to accommodate them after they were forced to change plans for the June 1 $4,000 family-friendly cruise following their son’s cancer diagnosis on May 19. But...
  • Cow herd kills German woman hiker in Austria

    Cow herd kills German woman hiker in Austria

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 12:24 PM EDT2014-07-29 16:24:40 GMT
    VIENNA (AP) -- Police say a herd of cows attacked and killed a German woman hiking through their fenced-in pasture after apparently being riled by the sight of her leashed dog. They said Tuesday the 45-year old victim was rushed by about 20 cows and their calves. Attempts by an emergency crew to revive her were unsuccessful. The attack occurred Monday on a mountain pasture in Austria's Tyrol province. The woman's name was not released, in accordance with Austrian confidentiality rules. © 201...
    VIENNA (AP) -- Police say a herd of cows attacked and killed a German woman hiking through their fenced-in pasture after apparently being riled by the sight of her leashed dog. They said Tuesday the 45-year old victim was rushed by about 20 cows and their calves. Attempts by an emergency crew to revive her were unsuccessful. The attack occurred Monday on a mountain pasture in Austria's Tyrol province. The woman's name was not released, in accordance with Austrian confidentiality rules. © 201...
  • New app helps teens calm anxiety

    New app helps teens calm anxiety

    Monday, July 28 2014 11:46 AM EDT2014-07-28 15:46:49 GMT
    Anxiety disorders affect one in eight teens. There are medications and therapies that can help alleviate symptoms, and now there’s even an app that can help. The MindShift app aims to teach young adults how to combat everyday anxiety, panic, conflict and worry. Teens can input their symptoms and the app will create a plan to help reduce stress. Created by two non-profit organizations, Anxiety BC and BC Mental Health and Addiction Services, the Mindshift app gives users the ability to ...
    Anxiety disorders affect one in eight teens. There are medications and therapies that can help alleviate symptoms, and now there’s even an app that can help. The MindShift app aims to teach young adults how to combat everyday anxiety, panic, conflict and worry. Teens can input their symptoms and the app will create a plan to help reduce stress. Created by two non-profit organizations, Anxiety BC and BC Mental Health and Addiction Services, the Mindshift app gives users the ability to ...
ORLANDO, Fla. -

One of the top young Scrabble players in the country has been kicked out of the game's national championship tournament in Florida after he was caught hiding blank letter tiles, organizers said Tuesday.

John D. Williams, Jr., executive director of the National Scrabble Association, said that a male player was ejected from the 350-player event in Round 24 of the 28-round event.

The cheating was spotted by a player at a nearby table, who noticed the ejected player conceal a pair of blank tiles by dropping them on the floor, organizers said. Blank tiles can be used as wild card letters. When confronted by the tournament director, he admitted to it, organizers said.

Williams, who has served as executive director for 25 years and co-authored a book on the popular Hasbro board game in 1993, said this was the first incident of cheating at a national tournament. However, he said it's been known to occur at smaller, regional events.

"It does happen no matter what. People will try to do this," he said. "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."

Williams would not identify the player by name or age because he's a minor. There are four divisions and he was competing in Division 3.

He said Division 3 is equal to "any great living-room player out there."

In Scrabble matches, players accumulate points during one-on-one matches by pulling random letter tiles from a bag of 100 and trying to create words.

A total of 98 tiles have letters on them and two are blank. Blank tiles can be used as wild card letters to complete words.

The ejected player had concluded a previous game and never reinserted the blank tiles into his bag in an attempt to use them at his discretion in the next game, organizers said.

Players in the national tournament format play multiple matches over the five-day event. The winner is determined by a combination of their overall record against other players and the cumulative point spread over the entire tournament.

The ejected player forfeited all of his wins.

Williams said there is usually "good self-policing in the Scrabble world" as players try to protect the integrity of statistics on the competitive circuit.

That's because national events draw young players to seniors. The leader entering Wednesday's final day of competition is National and Scrabble All-Star Champion David Gibson, a 61-year-old math teacher from Spartanburg, S.C.

Jason Keller, 30, and nine-time Jeopardy champion from New Jersey, is in fourth place.

The winner receives the $10,000 top prize.

"It gets pretty deep. We're one step away from drug testing," Williams joked.

While Williams said this was the first time the national tournament has dealt with scandal, the incident could shine a brighter light on other advantages players have been known to employ.

Even before Tuesday's cheating ejection it was well-known that some players take minerals known as "alleged brain boosters."

"But no steroids so far," Williams quipped.

By KYLE HIGHTOWER Associated Press

Powered by WorldNow

WTTG FOX 5 & myfoxdc
5151 Wisconsin Ave. NW
Washington, DC 20016
Main Number: (202) 244-5151
Newsroom: (202) 895-3000
fox5tips@wttg.com

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices