In the world of competitive Scrabble, players spend hours memorizing word lists and the Scrabble board to strategically score points. Around the world, Scrabble pros play in tournament games, hoping to make it to the World Scrabble Championships, which hosts participants from more than 30 countries every year. Though many records have been set, no one’s managed to achieve the highest-scoring Scrabble move possible, which is a whopping 15-letters long and includes an x, a y, and a z.
In 2006, three Scrabble records were shattered in a playful game between two Massachusetts men, a carpenter named Michael Cresta and a deli worker named Wayne Yorra. The match managed to break the North American Scrabble records for most points earned in a single play (365), highest individual score (830), and most combined points in a game (1,320).
The word Cresta played to set the single play record was QUIXOTRY (defined as “behavior inspired by romantic beliefs without regard to reality”). According to experts, Cresta wouldn’t have been able to pull off the move in a tournament game of Scrabble because professional players wouldn’t have left an opening for him to do so.
But Cresta’s impressive move still falls short of the feat Karl Khoshnaw managed in 1982. The international Scrabble legend earned 392 points with CAZIQUES (which is the plural of a type of oriole). It remains the world’s top-scoring single Scrabble move ever.
And though no one’s managed to use it yet, the theoretical highest-scoring Scrabble word out there is OXYPHENBUTAZONE. Ohioan Dan Stock found the word, which is worth a wild 1,458 points. And if a player was able to add some specific hooked words to the theoretical board, they could score up to 1,778 points. That’s 458 more than the record Cresta and Yorra set in their single game.
So if you manage to find a Scrabble word that will earn you more than 400 points, you won’t just be eliciting groans from your fellow players; you’ll also be smashing Scrabble records left and right. And chances are you’ll be playing sometime soon considering that there’s a Scrabble board in a third of U.S. households. In fact, more than 150 million Scrabble boards have been sold worldwide since they were created more than 80 years ago.
During the Great Depression, a man named Alfred Butts found himself without a job and in need of some money. So, he invented a game called Lexicos in 1938. Unfortunately for Butts, the game didn’t gain much traction until 10 years later, when James Brunot bought the rights and changed its name to Scrabble. After four years on the market, Scrabble finally took off—and it’s been a staple on family game nights ever since. And if you want to start setting Scrabble records, get ready to Own Scrabble with These 43 Words That Start with X.
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