Internet fan wins Scrabble title

Keighley News: Winner of the National Scrabble Championship, Mikki Nicholson from Carlisle with his rosebowl trophy Winner of the National Scrabble Championship, Mikki Nicholson from Carlisle with his rosebowl trophy

A transsexual wearing a pink wig and matching pvc dress has been crowned as the national Scrabble champion.

Mikki Nicholson, 32, from Cumbria, who said he has been diagnosed by a psychologist as a woman trapped in a man's body, appeared for the final with lipstick, manicured nails, and a hint of stubble. His pink plastic dress was trimmed with black lace.

Mr Nicholson, who has not undergone any surgery for his condition, began playing scrabble on the internet just five years ago.

An 86-point word "obeisant", meaning respect, proved crucial in the deciding fifth game, picking up an extra 50 points for using all the letters.

Mr Nicholson, who is unemployed, was up against four-time champion Mark Nyman, a wordsmith who has spent time in Dictionary Corner on Channel 4's Countdown.

Mr Nyman, 44, has over 30 years playing experience and has won more than 20 major tournaments including the World Championship.

His victor said: "It was a big challenge but I wouldn't have entered if I didn't think I had a chance of winning. I'm thrilled to have won and I can't wait to celebrate."

Mr Nyman still came away with the highest scoring word in the final game, "updates" for 105 points.

Other instrumental words played in the final in London included "inficete" (not witty), "oceanaut" (undersea explorer) and "winna" (will not).

Mr Nicholson, who first played Scrabble online, will spend the £1,500 prize money on a trip to Malaysia to compete in December's Causeway Scrabble Challenge.

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