One of the top Scrabble players in the country was kicked out of the board game's national championship tournament in Florida after he was caught hiding blank letter tiles.
John D. Williams, Jr., the executive director of the National Scrabble Association, said Tuesday that a 13-year-old male player was ejected from the 350-player event in Round 24 of the 28-round event.
It's something organizers say has never happened in the tournament's 30 years of competition - and it all boils down to those precious blank titles that are so valuable because they can be used as any letter you like.
"We don't feel like it really taints the scrabble world. Whether it is the Olympics a local bridge tournament a local high school soccer game the reality of human nature is that some people are going to try to bend the rules in their favor," said Williams.
Williams would not identify the player by name or age because he's a minor.
There are four divisions and he was competing in Division 3.
The player had won a game and took two blanks as the tiles were gathered and put in the grab bag.
When his next competitor stepped in to play, the opponent asked that the tiles be counted.
Two were missing.
When confronted by the tournament director, he admitted to it.
"It was discovered that two blanks were not put into the tile bag as they should have been when the board was cleared off to start the game," according to the SCRABBLE tournament's website. "The player was questioned and admitted to taking them."
There will be a disciplinary hearing to determine what the sanctions will be, Williams said.
Can't Find Something?