Scrabble championship won by colourful Mikki Nicholson

Mikki Nicholson Mikki Nicholson learned how to play Scrabble on the internet

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Scrabble's sleepy reputation has been overturned as a transsexual in a pink wig and matching PVC dress was crowned UK national champion.

Mikki Nicholson, 32, from Carlisle in Cumbria, took the crown with the word "obeisant", which scored 86 points.

She outplayed Mark Nyman, who has won more than 20 major Scrabble contests, including the World Championship.

Start Quote

People think Scrabble is just about words but it's the numbers that win the game”

End Quote Mikki Nicholson National Scrabble Champion 2010

Other words used in the final were "inficete", meaning unfunny, and "oceanaut", an undersea explorer.

"Obeisant", which means obedient or showing respect, proved crucial in the deciding fifth game.

Thrilling victory

Ms Nicholson, who learned to play the game on the internet five years ago, 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."

It was scant consolation for Mr Nyman, who has featured in Dictionary Corner on Channel 4's Countdown, that he got the highest scoring word in the final game - "updates" - which scored 105 points.

Explaining her route to victory, Ms Nicholson said: "A good Scrabble player is intuitive. They also need to be good with numbers.

"People think Scrabble is just about words, but it's the numbers that win the game so a sound mathematical brain is an advantage.

"The best word I played was 'inficete' as it changed the flow of the game and my best move was when I played 'tenor', as it allowed me to open up the board for me to play a high-scoring K."

Ms Nicholson, who is currently unemployed, said she planned to spend the £1,500 prize money on a trip to Malaysia in December to compete in another Scrabble tournament.

A Scrabble spokeswoman said: "Scrabble is a game for anyone to enjoy, loved by generations of families, men and women and anyone."

The winning Scrabble board Word champion... the winning board including Mikki Nicholson's decisive play with "obeisant"

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