Championship Scrabble Player Busted For Hiding Blank Tiles

Minor cheated at major event.

By Chris Roberts
|  Wednesday, Aug 15, 2012  |  Updated 10:05 AM PDT
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The Wild West had its share of aces up its sleeves. Championship Scrabble tournaments now have their own epic cheater.

A young Scrabble player -- whose identity as a minor is not being released -- was ejected from the national championships in Florida for hiding blank tiles, according to the Contra Costa Times.

The player's scheme was to drop two blank tiles he somehow concealed on the floor, then add them to his seven-letter rack, the newspaper reported. The cheating incident, in the 24th round of the 28-round, 350-player event, is the first known instance of cheating at a championship event, according to the executive director of the National Scrabble Association.

"It's unfortunate," said John D. Williams, Jr, executive director of the National Scrabble Association. "The Scrabble world is abuzz. The Internet is abuzz."

There are four divisions of competition, and the shamed cheater was in Division 3, which is equal to any "great living room player out there," Williams told reporters.

The ejected player had used the blank tiles in a previous game, and did not reinsert them into his bag for future use, the newspaper reported.

He admitted to the ruse when confronted by tournament officials.

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