After 18 months and tens of thousands of entries, Cashwords has a winner.
Willie Davis, 22, of Starkville won the $3,200 prize. Davis, a senior at Mississippi State University, said he was “overwhelmed” when he learned he won the cash payout.
“I was excited,” Davis said. “I just thanked God.”
The winning entry was Davis’ first attempt at the puzzle, which is a crossword-type game that runs in The Dispatch each Monday. The prize increases by $50 each week that the puzzle goes unsolved.
“This was my first time,” Davis said. “I was just looking through the paper and I saw it and I told myself it wouldn’t hurt to try. So that’s why I did it.”
Davis said his winning formula was to do the opposite of what logic deemed the answer should be.
“I thought, when I was looking at the questions, that it was kind of tricky. So I went the opposite of what people would normally put.”
He added, “I just kind of thought around it. That’s what worked for me.”
Davis said he will spend the money on rent and books for his upcoming semester in college. He plans to save what is left.
“Save it for hard times mostly,” he said. “It really helped out a lot.”
“Cashwords has been a fun addition to the paper over the past couple of years,” Dispatch general manager Peter Imes said Saturday. “Though it can be frustrating to play, I’ve had multiple people tell me they sit down with their significant other every Monday night and have fun trying to guess the answers. After 18 months without a winner, though, we were starting to get questions about the legitimacy of the game. I’m glad Mr. Davis selected the winning answer.”
The prize resets to $50 on Monday.
Davis said he is not done with the weekly puzzle.
“I’m pretty sure I’ll play it again,” he said.
Sarah Fowler covered crime, education and community related events for The Dispatch.
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