Confessions of a Scrabble Lover-What's Your Best Score?
I'm extremely competitive when it comes to games, especially word games. Most specifically, I LOVE to play Scrabble. Here's the problem: no one ever wants to play with me. When my husband and I decide to pull out a board game and it's my turn to choose, I can see the dread in his face as I opt for that burgundy box of little wooden letters. During our last Scrabble duel, I used all of my letters on the first turn. For those of you who don't play Scrabble, using all of your seven letters is referred to as a "bingo" and earns a bonus of 50 points in addition to your actual score. So it's a big deal. Hats off to my husband who humored me and stuck with it the whole game, only losing by about 100 points. What a guy!
Why do I love word games so much? It's genetic, I'm sure. My paternal Grandfather was an avid puzzler and a fanatical word gamer. He taught me at a very young age to play Scrabble and Upwords. He wouldn't let me win just because I was a kid, and cheating was out of the question. I once tried turning a letter tile over and using it as a blank, but I couldn't put it past him. My Grandfather also showed me how to do crossword puzzles, which I still enjoy. We shared an enthusiasm for trivia, games, and wordplay. We were even born on the same day, 60 years apart. So I owe my passion for word games and puzzles to my Grandpa.
I recently watched a documentary about super Scrabble players called "Word Wars." A handful of Scrabble enthusiasts are profiled while preparing for and competing in the National Scrabble Championship held in Las Vegas. I'll be honest. These guys are crazy! Most of them are unemployed bachelors who spend everyday trying to improve their Scrabble game. They play countless matches with other Scrabblers, in hopes of winning first place at the Championship. One guy even claims he uses "brain enhancers" to improve his play.
The funny thing is the tournament champion only wins $25,000. I realize that's a lot of money, but these guys don't have jobs! They devote their lives to practicing for the ultimate Scrabble match, and chances are they'll go home empty handed. It's an entertaining documentary, simply because the characters are so quirky. The National Scrabble Association has over 10,000 members. I think they picked the cream of the crop for this documentary.
Word Wars trailer
Buy Word Wars on DVD
Scrabble Players' Resources
Jimmy Kimmel Interviews National School Scrabble Champions
I can't wait until my kids are old enough to learn Scrabble. Then I'll have someone to play with! I think it will be a fun way to practice spelling and vocabulary. Playing Scrabble is a great way to exercise your brain. You can learn new words and definitions, improve your memory, and enhance your language skills. While you're stretching your memory to come up with a word using seven random letters, your neurons are firing on all burners. This type of intellectual stimulation will keep your brain young and healthy.
So what's a good Scrabble score? At the 2008 National Scrabble Championship, winner Nigel Richards' highest score was 530. In 2006, a Massachusetts carpenter earned 830 points, setting the record for the highest Scrabble score ever. My highest score earned so far in a game of Scrabble is 378. It doesn't compare to the scores of true Scrabble connoisseurs, but for a living room Scrabble player I'd say it's pretty good. What's your best score?