Jighere Wellington of Nigeria on Sunday morning emerged the new Scrabble champion of the world after defeating Lewis Mackay 4-0 in a Best of Seven series in Perth Australia.He is the first player from Africa to ever win a world scrabble championship.

Wellington, who had already finished first in a 32-Game Scrabble marathon to qualify for the two-man finals, defeated his English opponent in just four games and thus becomes the new World Scrabble Champion.

Jighere has been one of Nigeria’s best Scrabble players for a long time. In 2008 he won the Africa Scrabble Championship, held in Nairobi, Kenya, and defended his title in 2010 in Accra, Ghana. He was 11th in the 2009 Worlds, being as high as 4th at one point but losing a few close games, and also won the prestigious Godswill Akpabio International Scrabble Classics that year. Then, in late 2010, he retired to finish up his studies at University of Benin and his NYSC. He came back to SCrabble in 2013.

Nigeria also emerged as the best team of the championship as five of its six representatives finished in top 50 players of the tournament with Ayorinde Saidu and Emmanuel Umujose placing 16th and 17th, respectively.

Commenting on the historic win in a Facebook post, Jighere said he is exhausted but elated. 

"It was a battle between one man and a whole continent. It was like I was borrowing the "pickability" of all the glorious pickers in the house. I'll be releasing a more appropriate statement later. I really must endeavor to rest now. I've not slept well in about a week. The fact that I was able to perform in spite of the sleeplessness still baffles me. It only goes to prove that God was deeply involved in this matter. To him alone be all the glory!”

President Buhari called to congratulate Jighere on Sunday.

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