The Wonderful World Of Words

scrabble board game
New Orleans, where revelers come to let their hair down and let the good times roll.

"Shh! Players, please leave the room if you need to talk," a woman implores contestants at the National Scrabble Tournament

A rather odd choice of cities, then, for a gathering of those who get their kicks making triple word scores and drawing U's for their Q's, in sober silence, the only sound the rattling of thousands of little tiles, CBS News Correspondent Bill Geist reports.

"We've got over 850 players from 40 states and five or six different countries here for a week of non-stop Scrabble, playing for $100,000 in cash, $25,000 first prize," announces John Williams, director of the National Scrabble Association.

Like the Olympics, the National Scrabble Championship sports a formidable and highly diverse field.

We've got cab drivers, we've had exotic dancers, a couple of people who actually work for NASA, aerospace engineers. It's really a broad spectrum," Scrabble player Joel Sherman says.

Sherman, a full-time Scrabble player from the Bronx, is here to defend his title. He's known to all as GI Joel, the GI signifying his considerable gastrointestinal difficulties.

Comedian Matt Graham from New York believes in better Scrabble through chemistry.

"This is chlorophyll, just to kind of clean out all the toxins, and this is a B vitamin, which is great for stress. This is pyroglutamic acid, and I really don't know how that works," Graham intimates.