New Study Reveals Which State Cheats at Wordle the Most

Google searches for Wordle answers have nearly tripled since The New York Times bought the game in January

A person playing the daily word game Wordle on their phone. A new study reveals which states cheat at Wordle the most.
Don't you dare cheat.
Jakub Porzycki/NurPhoto via Getty Images

The fear of losing your precious Wordle streak can force a person to take part in some unspeakable, reprehensible acts — like cheating. Yes, Google searching the answer to the popular five-letter word guessing game is a cardinal sin in my book, but it looks like a whole lot of you are remorseless sinners.

A recent study conducted by WordFinderX — an online word helper for games like Scrabble and Wordle — found that cheating on Wordle’s daily puzzle is “at an all-time high.”

After analyzing Google Trends data over the past three months, the reference website found that Google searches for Wordle answers have nearly tripled since The New York Times acquired the game at the end of January. Considering how much it sold for, Wordle was obviously popping off prior to the undisclosed seven-figure acquisition of the word game, yet it appears cheating was remarkably low.

“Last December, search interest for the question ‘today’s wordle’ on Google was so low it registered a ‘0’ for search popularity,” the study states. (For reference, Google Trends compares search results on a topic and then scales them on a range of 0 to 100 based on a topic’s proportion to all searches on every topic.) By February 14, however, searches for Wordle solutions peaked, hitting 100 on Google’s scale.

For example, January 4’s Wordle was “SIEGE” and registered a lowly 1 on the scale. Fast forward to February 15’s “AROMA” and Feb. 19’s “SWILL” where those respective Wordle solutions reached 100.

Search Interest in Wordle Google Trends

There has been lots of speculation (including from yours truly) over whether The New York Times made Wordle harder. That theory has been debunked. Notably, The Times actually removed a few of Wordle’s guesses and solutions to make the game more accessible. Not to mention, pre-NYT  Wordle still featured some tough words like TAPIR, KNOLL and QUERY.

That unlucky streak of hard-to-solve words in February is likely what prompted this impressive spike in cheating, along with the influx of new Wordle players. At the beginning of January, it was estimated that 300,000 people were playing Wordle daily. By the end of the month, that number leaped to three million.

The study also looked at which states have the most Wordle cheaters, along with the words they looked up. The findings have me quite disappointed in my fellow East Coasters:

  1. New Hampshire: Swill
  2. Rhode Island (tied): Caulk
  3. Vermont (tied): Tacit
  4. Washington, D.C.: Tacit
  5. Massachusetts: Dodge
  6. Maine: Dodge and Tacit

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