Scrabble cheat kicked out of US tournament

People playing Scrabble
The Scrabble world was said to be 'abuzz' after the incident Photo: Reuters/Kacper Pempel

A Scrabble player was kicked out of the US national championship tournament after being caught red handed hiding blank letter tiles.

The executive director of the National Scrabble Association, John D. Williams Jr., said the cheat was thrown out in the 24th round of the 28-round event after a competitor at a nearby table spotted his slight of hand.

The young male player was seen concealing a pair of blank tiles from a previous game by dropping them on the floor.

Blank tiles are advantageous in Scrabble as they can be used as wild card letters.

The unnamed youth admitted the offence when confronted by the tournament director at the 350-player event in Florida.

As a result, he forfeited all of his winnings accrued during the tournament.

It [cheating] does happen no matter what. People will try to do this.

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.

– John D. Williams Jr., National Scrabble Association

In Scrabble tournaments, players accumulate points during one-on-one matches by pulling random letter tiles from a bag of 100 and trying to create words.

The winner of the US national tournament receives a top prize of $10,000.