John’s a winner - you mark my words

John Tingay with the new Scrabble Trickster game
John Tingay with the new Scrabble Trickster game

A SCRABBLE fan from Sheffield is one of only five people to tear up the rulebook of the wordplay classic and see his suggestion form part of a new boardgame.

For the first time in the game’s 60-year history, makers Mattel invited players to submit ideas for new rules and changes to the game.

And the new game called Scrabble Twister Special hits shops this week.

John Tingay, 49, of Gresley Walk, Lowedges, was one of only five picked from more than 1,500 entries, introducing the idea of a ‘trick’ card which, when played, forces opponents to beat the player’s word score in that round.

Former IT engineer John’s rule will introduce an exciting and unpredictable element to the game, as the competitor will earn 10 points for every player who fails to beat his score.

He said: “I’ve played Scrabble since I was a young boy, and I’ve been a fan ever since.

“I was amazed when my trick was picked from so many good entries.

“It is great to imagine all the players in the future playing ‘my’ trick and having a good time.”

John was also awarded £1,000 for his clever contribution.

The new game will also allow players to use text speak, steal opponents’ tiles, and even play celebrity names.

Jonathan Kirkley, Mattel Games marketing manager, said: “We were overwhelmed by how many people wanted to be part of the new version.

“The final tricks will add a whole new dimension of exciting fun to the world’s favourite word game.”

The first edition of Trickster caused uproar among purist Scrabble fans, but went on to become a Christmas best seller last year.

Just like the original game, players combine the letters on their rack to score points on the board. But, with the new edition, if competitors play a word across a trick square, they get the chance to break one of the new rules chosen by the five winners.