Teacher crowned Scrabble champion
The 42nd National Scrabble Champion has been crowned after winning a high-stakes war of words at the final of the annual competition.
Teacher Paul Allan, from Rushden in Northamptonshire, beat Allan Simmons, a Scrabble consultant from Coldingham Village in the Scottish Borders, at the event in central London.
Mr Allan sealed the win by playing bandura, a Ukrainian lute, scoring 86 points and giving him an incontestable lead in the deciding match.
The last match finished with an overall score of 503 for Mr Allan, beating Mr Simmons' 389.
Mr Allan said: "I am delighted to have won, especially given the fact that the final is played to a public audience of players who expect to be impressed.
"Allan played exceptionally well and was a delight to compete with."
He was declared the winner after a gruelling best-of-five showdown.
As well as achieving the ultimate accolade for any Scrabble fan, he also won £2,500 in cash.
It his not the first time he has taken home the trophy; he was previously crowned champion in 2007 and has won a number of tournaments since starting to play Scrabble on a competitive level in 1993.
Outside of Scrabble Mr Allan enjoys athletics and juggling.
Other high-scoring words played throughout the final were: Kernite - a mineral - for 100; Mete - to measure - worth 34 points; Exordial - to begin - for 92; Portage - toll on a bridge - for 76; Shrieval - relating to a sheriff - for 97; Valerate - a chemical salt - worth 36 points; and Coniines - a poisonous alkaloid found in poison hemlock - for 98 points.