A Jewish guy from Montreal just won North America’s biggest Scrabble tournament

On July 19, 2023, Josh Sokol won the NASPA Championship in Las Vegas—along with US$10,000. (Photo courtesy of NASPA)

On July 19, Josh Sokol, a 29-year-old Scrabble influencer from Montreal, won the top prize of US$10,000 at the 2023 North American Scrabble Players Association championship in Las Vegas. But, as Sokol explains on this episode of Menschwarmers, he isn’t even the first Jewish Montrealer to win this competition—one of his local club colleagues took home the top prize last year. What is it about Montreal that’s producing such high-quality gamers with encyclopedic memories of the dictionary? And why are so many of them Jewish?

To give answers and insight into the world of professional word gaming, Sokol joins our podcast about Jews and sports—because, you know what, it’s summer, and board games are competitive enough that we consider them a sport. Subscribe to Sokol’s channels on YouTube or Twitch to watch him play.


Menschwarmers is hosted by James Hirsh and Gabe Pulver, and produced and edited by Michael Fraiman. Our intro music is by Coby Lipovitch, and our outro music is “Organ Grinder Swing” by chēēZ π. This show is a member of The CJN Podcast Network. Follow the Menschwarmers on Twitter @menschwarmers or TikTok @menschwarmers. Support the show by subscribing to this podcast or donating to The CJN.