Bangalore, Jan 20 (IANS) Nigel Richards of New Zealand Sunday won the first prize of Rs.250,000 in the ninth international Scrabble tournament, conducted by integrated technology firm iGate Corporation in association with Bangalore Scrabble Club here.
Ramprasad Nuggehalli, 56, a retired banker from Bangalore was the other prize winner, while Oracle India from Mumbai and IIT-Chennai bagged prizes in the inter-corporate and inter-collegiate categories.
Though Richards, 45, hails from New Zealand, he currently lives in Malaysia working as an engineer with a private firm.
As the world's most popular word game, which promotes logical thinking and analytical abilities, Scrabble was developed during the 1930s Great Depression-era in the US.
"This family game is a great relaxant for stressed out people and has over the years evolved into a competitive mind sport played the world over," iGate chief executive Phaneesh Murthy said on the occasion.
Organised according to the World English Scrabble Players' Association's rules and regulations, the tournament had 84 contestants from 17 countries vying for a total prize of Rs.720,000, sponsored by iGate.
Overseas participants were from Australia, Britain, Kuwait, Malta, Nigeria, Singapore, Sri Lanka and the US.
The tournament had two divisions - premier and intermediate, grouped according to world ratings.
Participants from 80 corporations and 60 colleges across the country played 35 games over four days, each game with duration of 50 minutes.
"The contest has grown to become the fourth largest of its kind in the world, which bears testimony of our efforts to boost the interest in this mind sport," Murthy added.