- Kevin McMahon from Dublin took the crown with eight-letter word over two 'triple word score' squares
- Prompted celebrities to discuss their favourite word
A trainee physics teacher has been declared the best Scrabble player in the UK, after a gruelling Bank Holiday weekend showdown.
Kevin McMahon, from Dublin, clinched the crown when he managed to conjure up the word 'immortal' - taking advantage of two 'triple word score' squares to score 158 points.Â
He was competing against 120 players at the British Matchplay Scrabble Championships, and claimed victory following a nail-biting 21 rounds.
Final reckoning: The board that clinched Mr McMahon the title
Clincher: The eight-letter word 'immortal' secured victory
HISTORY OF SCRABBLE
During the Great Depression, Scrabble was invented in 1938 by American-born architect Alfred Butts.
He wanted to create a game that combined the vocabulary skills of crossword puzzles and anagrams, with the additional element of chance.
The game was originally named Lexico, but Mr Butts eventually decided to call the game 'Criss-Cross Words.'
The name was later changed to Scrabble and he sold the rights and it was trademarked in 1948
The game is sold in 121 countries and there are 29 different language versions.
Approximately 150 million sets have been sold worldwide.
After winning the tournament at the Yarnfield Park Conference Centre in Staffordshire, Mr McMahon told The Independent: 'I'm really happy; it feels brilliant.'
He collected a trophy and the Â£1,000 prize money, admitting that score of 158 with the word immortal 'sealed the deal'.
'I don't really play the words for their beauty; I just do it for points,' he explained.Â
The competition is the flagship event of the Association of British Scrabble Players.
In Scrabble, players try to gain the highest points by making words with individual letter tiles on a grid board.
Each letter tile has a points value between one and 10, based on the letter's frequency in standard English.
Various coloured squares on the board can double or triple a player's points.
The recent Scrabble tournaments coincides with new research by Scrabble into what makes words beautiful.
Celebrities offering up their own favourite words include the actor and comedian Stephen Fry who suggested snuffle and Jamiroquai singer Jay Kay, who put forward whippersnapper, reported the newspaper.
Sting choose laconic which means few words and Hilary Devey from (BBC Dragons' Den) selected 'machination': noun, defined as 'the act of plotting.'
Winning wordsmith: Kevin McMahon is presented with his trophy
Word play: Competitors take part in the tournament
Famous linguist JR Tolkien, claimed cellar door was most beautiful in his 1955 lecture English and Welsh.
The authors Edgar Allen Poe also shared Tolkiens view although Oscar Wilde picked vermillion as his personal favourite.
In Robert Beard's The 100 Most Beautiful Words in English bungalow and elbow feature.
In 2004, research found that mother is the most beautiful word in the English language, according to a survey of non-English speakers.
More than 40,000 people in 102 countries were polled by the British Council to mark its 70th anniversary.
Mother, passion, smile, love and eternity were the top five choices.
Celebrities offering up their own favourite words include the actor and comedian Stephen Fry, left, who suggested snuffle and Jamiroquai singer Jay Kay, who put forward whippersnapper
Father did not even make it into the list of 70 words, but strange choices such as peekaboo, flabbergasted, hen night and oi made the list.
Last week cheating spelled the end for one Scrabble player in his bid to be national champion after he was kicked out of the competition for hiding blank letter tiles.
The young male competitor was caught trying to conceal the âwild cardâ tiles by dropping them on the floor at the 350-player event in Orlando, Florida.
Marched out of the tournament, the rogue player is the first to be caught cheating at the national level, leaving the Scrabble world âabuzzâ with scandal.
Executive director of the National Scrabble Association John D. Williams Jr would not identify the player by name or age because he is a minor, but said cheating is known to happen but at smaller, regional events.
He said: âIt does happen no matter what. People will try to do this.'