Thursday, August 25, 2005

Oregon Man Wins Top Prize at the National Scrabble Championship

From the HOLY CRAP in bold department:

RENO, Nevada (PRNewswire) – There were 700 of them when it all started, word experts from 6 coun-tries and 45 states. After five days and 28 rounds of Scrabble, it was down to two: David Wiegand, 31, a mortgage underwriter from Portland, Oregon and Panupol Sujjayakorn, 20, a student from Bangkok, Thai-land. They played an astonishing best-of-five final match with Wiegand winning the last game 529-331 after falling behind 0-2. Sujjayakorn is the current World Scrabble Champion, while Weigand's previous best performance was 2nd at the 1994 National Scrabble Championship (NSC). Among Wiegand's plays were “keets” (a guinea fowl) and “aulic” (pertaining to a royal court). The National Scrabble Championship is considered the world's premiere event among 500 official tournaments played internationally each year. This year's NSC boasted a field that included 9 former world and National champions. Sujjayakorn is a particularly brilliant player, as his English is rudimentary at best. To train, he memorized the entire 120,000 word Official Scrabble Player's Dictionary. The play with live commentary was followed online at, which received nearly 4 million hits during the event. The final match will be telecast on ESPN later this year.

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