This past week has seen its fair share of breaking stories about cheating.
Giants’ fans were saddened to hear about the downfall of Melky Cabrera, whose performance-enhancing drug scandal was made all the more sordid by recent allegations of an elaborate cover-up attempt. Scrabble enthusiasts were equally disappointed to learn that this year’s National Scrabble Championship was marred by the unscrupulous acts of a thirteen-year old wunderkind, who snuck blank tiles into his match. But instead of focusing on the miscalculations of a few, what about recognizing the hard work of the deserving winners?
Scrabble expert Stefan Fatsis describes this year’s champion in his coverage of the competition for Slate. He also recounts the many in ways in which Scrabble aficionados cheat (the most popular tiles to horde? “A E I N R S”). According to Fatsis, winner Nigel Richards is a forty-five year old New Zealand native living in Kuala Lumpur who has won “at least $200,000 playing Scrabble in the last dozen years.” He’s won four national championships overall, this last win making it three in a row. His final match against Scrabble heavyweight David Gibson ended with three bingoes: TRAPLIKE, ADJUTANT, and MELANITE. Nice.