Do you find yourself looking for the longest word to conquer your opposition when playing Scrabble or Words With Friends? You might want to reconsider your strategy.
Scrabble competitors in Nigeria have worked out you can dominate your opponent using a simple trick — use short words.
Nigerians feature more than any other country, including Australia and the United Kingdom, in the world’s top-200 players and it’s all thanks to this technique.
In 2015, Nigerian man Wellington Jighere claimed top spot when he beat the UK’s Lewis Mackay and he told the Wall Street Journal that while other countries see Scrabble as a game, in Nigeria it is a serious and competitive sport.
He says in the lead up to a Scrabble tournament (yes, there are such things) players are drilled on long lists of five-letter words and he has participated in 48-hour Scrabble marathons to prepare.
Jighere won the November World Scrabble Championship — hosted by Australia — by playing the five-letter word ‘felty’, which scored him 36 points. When he combined it with his previous words of ‘yow’ (34 points), ‘aah’ (17 points) and ‘quiz’ (a whopping 93 points) he was bound for glory.
It seems Nigeria has capitalised on the global competition and computer analytics that have exposed the hidden risks of using big words when it comes to Scrabble.
What’s the best score you’ve received for a single word in Scrabble? Do you enjoy board games? Tell us your favourite.