I Thought I Could Beat a Scrabble Champion but Found Out There's No F in 'Way'https://www.sevendaysvt.com/vermont/i-thought-i-could-beat-a-scrabble-champion-but-found-out-theres-no-f-in-way/Content?oid=39185583
By HANNAH FEUER
Published September 27, 2023 at 10:00 a.m.
Essex Junction resident David Spargo claims to know every five-letter word in the dictionary. Prompt him with a set of letters, and he can recall all 9,383 of the words they form, to be exact.
Just don't mistake his ability for an advanced vocabulary.
"Ninety percent of words I know, I have no idea what they mean," Spargo said. "I just like knowing that things are words."
Spargo's talent may seem obscure, but it's not uncommon in the world of competitive Scrabble a niche community of roughly 2,500 people across North America for whom reading the dictionary is not an outlandish pastime. The 26-year-old South Burlington High School graduate competes at about 10 tournaments each year all over New England. With an average score of more than 400 points, he's currently ranked first in Vermont and 73rd in North America.
I was reading at age 4, and would read the dictionary, learning early on that if I learned the Latin roots of the word, I could figure out what it meant. I'm the 7th of 8 kids in a military family, and we would all play Scrabble and Risk and Monopoly. I play Scrabble almost daily, on my phone, as no one will really play with me . My average score's around 350 - 400. I still love reading about words.
I grew up playing Scrabble, Monopoly, and Chess. I play Scrabble on my tablet every day. I dont claim to be an expert but I just love the challenge.