Mack Meller, an 11-year-old from Bedford, N.Y. has recently become the youngest expert in official tournament Scrabble history. Almost all of Mack’s competitors were adults when he finished in 2nd place in a June 25th tournament.
As a result, his official Scrabble rating shot up by 53 points to 1638. In tournament Scrabble, an expert rating is 1600 and above. There are currently 308 Scrabble experts in the U.S. and Canada.
A typical Scrabble expert has memorized handy, obscure words such as ZA (a pizza), CWM (a deep walled basin), the 32 Q-without-U words like QI (the vital force that in Chinese though is inherent in all things), QAT (an evergreen shrub) and over 1,000 3-letter words.
Experts also routinely compete in the 200 annual sanctioned tournaments in North America. The Scrabble rating system is based on that of organized chess, where a player goes up and down in the rankings based on the number of victories and rating of their opponents. A typical Scrabble expert averages 365-400 points a game against other experts.
Mack played his first rated Scrabble tournament just 7 months ago. He also competed in the 2011 National School Scrabble Championship in Orlando, FL this past April. Mack also donates a portion of his winnings to St. Jude’s Hospital.
The announcement was made by the National Scrabble Association on Thursday, July 7.