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Wordsmiths unite in Buffalo for Scrabble Championship

How do you spell North American Scrabble Championship? Turns out, it's B-U-F-F-A-L-O.

Joel Sherman of the Bronx – better known to serious word-game enthusiasts as "G.I. Joel" – used works like "lurdans," "umiaqs" and "thirled" to capture the championship, which wrapped up at the Buffalo Niagara Convention Center on Wednesday.

Sherman, a former world champion, defeated five-time champion Nigel Richards of New Zealand, taking home a $10,000 prize and capping off the event's six-day run here. Sherman was a heavy underdog facing Richards.

There were 401 competitors from five continents, 12 countries and 49 states and Canadian provinces, according to organizers.

The event, formerly known as the National Scrabble Championship, also was held in Buffalo in 2014.

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