Butts, a Jackson Heights resident, masterminded the word game in the 1930s, calling it Lexiko (and later Criss-Cross Words). Unfortunately, he never benefited financially from what would become the second all-time favorite U.S. board game. In 1948 he ceded all rights to Mr. and Mrs. James Burnot, who renamed it Scrabble.
Butts perfected the game at Community Methodist Church, located on the corner of 35th Avenue and 81st Street, where a Scrabble club still meets. If you're a fan of the game, pay homage at this quiet, quirky spot of Scrabble history (and shocking display of NYC Department of Transportation creativity).
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