Top scrabble players compete for national title

By  | 

RENO, NV (KOLO) - Top scrabble players traveled to Reno this week for the 30th annual North American Scrabble championship.

It’s all fun and games as nearly 300 players from around the globe put their spelling skills and word strategies to the test. After five intense days this year’s winner will take home the notable title and grand prize of $10,000.

Competitor Joshua Sokul said it’s his 7th time vying for the national title. Sokul said, “I am hoping to get a bit better than 7th.”

All of the players participate until the 30th round, then the top two people in the top two divisions advance to best of three finals.

John Chew, CEO of the North American Scrabble Association, said it’s been a very diverse competition.

Chew stated, “We got a lot of people trying to be a two time champion, and we already got some kids who’ve won the school championships and are trying to win the adult events for the first time.”

According to Chew, some kids already caused upsets during the competition. “We’ve had a kid, I think who is twelve years old who is from Ottowa, Canada. He defeated a player who has won the championship, more than once and is considered one of the elite world class player of the game.”

Chew continued, “But could be time for a change in the guard, we got a dozen kids who are teenagers or younger. They are really good at absorbing words into their memory.”

All of these players come from different backgrounds, ages, and experience. Chew said he is happy to see all these players unite under the same passion.

“There are some people in the world that are meant to play scrabble and if they are lucky they get to show up here.”

Win or lose, players said they are simply happy playing with like-minded folks. “I’m really happy I can make it, every year it’s just a pleasure to be here,” said Sokul.

You can watch the final round here.

The winner will be crowned Wednesday afternoon.

Copyright KOLO-TV 2019