Scrabble Amateurs Post Record Score, Americans Obsess About Just About Everything

| Tue Oct. 31, 2006 12:52 PM EST

Stefan Fatsis, author of Word Freak, reports in Slate about the latest in chapter in the country's Scrabble obsession. Earlier this month, in the basement of a Unitarian church in Lexington, Mass., a carpenter scored 830 points in a single game. His opponent, scored 490. The two men set three records for sanctioned Scrabble in North America: the most points in a game by one player (830), the most total points in a game (1,320), and the most points on a single turn: 365, for QUIXOTRY.

Read Fatsis' play-by-play of how the two amateurs, in a growing world of money-making pros, produced the Scrabble Shot Heard Round the World.

And speaking of amateurs using big words, check out the latest issue Mother Jones, on newstands now, which includes an inside look at the obsessive world of high school debate, "Revenge of the Nerds", where folks like Brad Pitt and Karl Rove got their start.