Nigerian world’s Scrabble Champion

Nigerian world’s Scrabble Champion

Sunday, November 8, 2015 4:19 pm

Jighere Wellington

Jighere Wellington

A 36-year-old Nigerian, Wellington Jighere, has  made history, winning the World Scrabble Championship held in Perth, Australia

Gainlier, avouched and guiro were among the words used in the final game.

About 450 Scrabble players came from around the world to compete in the tournament that has seen its first African player crowned the champion.

Jighere took on dark horse Lewis Mackay, 30, from Cambridge, England, in the final round of the competition after many heated rounds of competition.

Players at the World Scrabble Championship in Perth Australia

Players at the World Scrabble Championship in Perth Australia

Jighere’s good luck charm was a cowboy hat that he wore as he played and won the final game with 448 points to Mackay’s 426. He beat Mackay 4-0

The highest-placed Australians were Craig Beevers, who came in ninth, Russell Honeybun in 31st place and Daniel Piechnick in 55th place.

The current world number one is New Zealand player Nigel Richards who placed eighth in the competition.

Who is Jighere Wellington?Here is his portrait according to

“Jighere has been one of Nigeria’s best Scrabble players for a long time. In 2007, he was just one game away from making the finals of the World Scrabble Championship in Mumbai, but he fell in round 24 to, would you know it, Nigel Richards, who then won his first World Scrabble Championship.

winning scrabble board

winning scrabble board

“Jighere started playing Scrabble in 1996 after an older brother introduced him to the game. He has been hooked ever since. In his beginnings, he was a very strong player, but it seemed like he would always fall just short of victory. He had played in several major tournaments but seemed to lose steam towards the end. He would start off well then would start making mistakes. He began having more success in 2007, when he got third at Worlds.

“Then, in late 2010, he retired. Citing a few disagreements with the way things were being run in the Nigeria Scrabble Federation, he hung up his boots (tiles?) and decided to focus on his studies. Wellington finished up his career in crop studies and performed his NYSC .

“Luckily for the world of Scrabble, he came back with a fury in 2013, and the rest is history. He triumphed in the 2015 WSC, playing 4 nearly-flawless games.”


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One Comment

  • bayuse says:

    Congrats Jighere. You have made us all proud, proving that a Nigerian can be the world’s best wordsmith.

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