The officials said the player, whose name was not released because he is under 18, was spotted by his opponents pocketing blank tiles during this week's tournament in Orlando, and he confessed to trying to cheat when he was confronted, The New York Times reported Thursday.
"People were just appalled," competitor Stefan Fatsis said. "It's easy to poke fun at Scrabble, but people who play it competitively take it very seriously. The community prides itself on integrity and honesty and sportsmanship."
The tournament involved 350 competitors ranging in age from 11 to 81 in four divisions. The winner of the expert division, Nigel Richards of New Zealand, received a $10,000 prize.