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

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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.

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THE BIG PICTURE

You expect the big picture, and it's our job at Mother Jones to give it to you. And right now, so many of the troubles we face are the making not of a virus, but of the quest for profit, political or economic (and not just from the man in the White House who could have offered leadership and comfort but instead gave us bleach).

In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," we unpack what the coronavirus crisis has meant for journalism, including Mother Jones’, and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support our nonprofit journalism with a donation: We've scoured our budget and made the cuts we can without impairing our mission, and we hope to raise $400,000 from our community of online readers to help keep our big reporting projects going because this extraordinary pandemic-plus-election year is no time to pull back.

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