How many points does the word “cheat” score?
One of the top Scrabble players in the country was kicked out of the national championship being held in Orlando, Fla. after a player at a nearby table saw the player in question hoarding blank tiles, which can act as wild cards in the game.
The National Scrabble Association has refused to identify the player — a minor — who had managed to make it all the way to the 24th round. There are 28 rounds in total.
According to tournament representatives, the cheating player, who was playing in the third division, forfeited all of his wins after the indiscretion was discovered. The tournament categorizes players into four different divisions.
(MORE: A Brief History of Scrabble)
John D. Williams, Jr., the executive director of the association, says it’s the first time it’s happened on the national level, though cheating tend to happen more at the regional competitions.
“It gets pretty deep. We’re one step away from drug testing,” Williams responded (jokingly) to the Associated Press when he was asked about how strictly players are monitored. Tournaments are usually self-policed by other players.
(And by the way, in case you were curious: the word “cheat” is actually worth seven points in an English version of the game.)