Kiwi Wins Fourth Scrabble World Title With 'Groutier'

A miserable word has helped put a smile on the face of a wordsmith as he won his fourth World Scrabble Championship title.

As Scrabble fans marked 70 years of the world-famous board game, New Zealander Nigel Richards, 51, clinched victory when he played the word "groutier" to win the title.

The crucial word, which means "grouty" and can be defined as cross, sulky or sullen, scored 68 points, allowing Richards to win by 575 points to 452 over Californian Jesse Day.

Scrabble World Champion Nigel Richards displays the final winning board (Jonathan Brady/PA Images via Getty Images)

After his win at the championships held at at Westfield, London, Richards said: "I am absolutely thrilled to have won two World championships this year, including French and English.

"It was a closely fought championship and Jesse was a very impressive opponent to play."

The words "zonular", which was worth 100 points and means "like a zone", and "phenolic", which scored 84 points and means "a synthetic resin", were among the highest-scoring words in the final. Both were played by Richards.

The World Championship final match winning board on display (Jonathan Brady/PA Images via Getty Images)

Day played the other highest-scoring word when he used "maledict", meaning "utter a curse against", to score 95 points.

Malaysia-based Richards began playing Scrabble in 1995. He won his three previous World Scrabble Championship titles in 2007, 2011 and 2013, and also won the French World Championship in 2015.