Second-time finalist Solomon triumphs in Bananagrams’ annual primary school challenge
Triumphing in a tense and nerve-wracking grand final at London’s Magic Circle on Saturday 30 April, 11-year-old Solomon of Aldrington CE Primary School in Hove beat 50,000 other children to be crowned Top Banana at the 2017 Bananagrams Challenge.
This was Solomon’s second attempt at winning the challenge, as he also made the final in 2016. This year, he sailed through three rounds of the addictive anagram game before taking to the main theatre stage in a nail-biting last game against two other children.
“I can’t believe it,” said Solomon, scooping the trophy and £1,000 for his school. “I was so relieved just to get through the semi final so it was amazing to win. My letters at the start of the final were quite easy. I had a lot of vowels, so I kept using them up. Then I just kept going and going. I couldn’t stop. I was in control.
“I came here thinking I wanted to play as I normally play and just have fun playing Bananagrams, It’s been a really great day and I’m so happy I won.”
Bananagrams’ inventor, Rena Nathanson, pictured with triumphant Solomon at the final, said: “The day was fantastic and all the players held well deserved places at the final. After a tense few rounds I was so pleased to see Solomon, having defended and return to hold his position in the top 12 from last year, become 2017's Top Banana! He has great technique when building his word grids, is super fast and is a very worthy winner!"
Rena also took part in a live Q&A session hosted by Deej Johnson, author of the Collins Little Book of Bananagrams, at the final.
The Bananagrams Challenge is a tournament for primary schools, which sees children from Key Stage 2 compete at Bananagrams. This year, it attracted almost 50,000 children in 1,500 primary schools throughout the UK. Visit www.bananagramschallenge.co.uk for more information.