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>>

  • Spacewalking astronauts release baby satellite

    Spacewalking astronauts release baby satellite

    Monday, August 18 2014 12:40 PM EDT2014-08-18 16:40:07 GMT
    CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) -- Spacewalking astronauts launched a tiny Peruvian research satellite Monday, setting it loose on a mission to observe Earth. Russian Oleg Artemiev cast the 4-inch box off with his gloved right hand as the International Space Station sailed 260 miles above the cloud-flecked planet. The nanosatellite gently tumbled as it cleared the vicinity of the orbiting complex, precisely as planned. "One, two, three," someone called out in Russian as Artemiev let go of the sate...
    CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) -- Spacewalking astronauts launched a tiny Peruvian research satellite Monday, setting it loose on a mission to observe Earth. Russian Oleg Artemiev cast the 4-inch box off with his gloved right hand as the International Space Station sailed 260 miles above the cloud-flecked planet. The nanosatellite gently tumbled as it cleared the vicinity of the orbiting complex, precisely as planned. "One, two, three," someone called out in Russian as Artemiev let go of the sate...
  • New marijuana drug 'Wax' looks and feels like lip balm

    New marijuana drug 'Wax' looks and feels like lip balm

    Monday, August 18 2014 12:39 PM EDT2014-08-18 16:39:19 GMT
    It goes by the name Wax, Butter and Honeycomb on the streets, and it can pack a kick equal to 15 to 20 joints of marijuana. The new drug looks and feels like lip balm. It's made from the oils of marijuana plants and has a high level of THC - the chemical that produces a high.
    It goes by the name Wax, Butter and Honeycomb on the streets, and it can pack a kick equal to 15 to 20 joints of marijuana. The new drug looks and feels like lip balm. It's made from the oils of marijuana plants and has a high level of THC - the chemical that produces a high.
  • Pilot's artificial arm detached while landing

    Pilot's artificial arm detached while landing

    Thursday, August 14 2014 10:21 AM EDT2014-08-14 14:21:31 GMT
    LONDON (AP) -- A British air accident report has recounted how a pilot lost control of a passenger plane after his artificial arm became detached during landing. The report says the incident took place as the Flybe flight from Birmingham, carrying 47 passengers, was approaching Belfast City Airport in gusty conditions in February. The 46-year-old pilot had shortly before checked that his prosthetic lower left arm was securely attached to the yoke clamp, but as he performed a maneuver just be...
    LONDON (AP) -- A British air accident report has recounted how a pilot lost control of a passenger plane after his artificial arm became detached during landing. The report says the incident took place as the Flybe flight from Birmingham, carrying 47 passengers, was approaching Belfast City Airport in gusty conditions in February. The 46-year-old pilot had shortly before checked that his prosthetic lower left arm was securely attached to the yoke clamp, but as he performed a maneuver just be...
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
Untitled

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 | New Terms of Service What's new | Ad Choices