Harshan Lamabadusuriya (stylised on his name plate as Harshan L'Suriya) (born 13 January 1979) was the runner-up of Series 34 in 1997.
He was an 'A'-level student at Steyning Grammar School in Sussex. Lamabadusuriya made his debut in the first heat game of the series, comfortably beating Bob Edwards 55 – 44, and thus became the first new champion of the show following the Supreme Championship. Lamabadusuriya won another two games without facing a crucial conundrum before losing at the hands of Paul Wells.
Lamabadusuriya returned for the final rounds as #5 seed. He beat Peter Sampson in the quarter-final with a score of 72 — the highest of the series - following a commanding performance, and then pulled off a minor upset by beating #1 seed James Martin 48 – 31 in the semi-final the very next day, with the outcome already decided before the Conundrum. In the final against Huw Morgan, however, Lamabadusuriya suffered a dramatic loss of form, struggling for points in the early rounds, and was ultimately beaten 79 – 65 despite staging a minor comeback towards the end. Notably, Lamabadusuriya admitted at the presentation of the dictionaries that it was Morgan narrowly beating him to the buzzer on the first conundrum that really did the damage, as this put Morgan 24 points ahead, by 47 – 23, at half time, effectively leaving Lamabadusuriya no way back; however, had Lamabadusuriya got to the buzzer first, the final result would in fact have eventually gone in his favour by 75 – 69.
Lamabadusuriya is also a Scrabble Grandmaster and currently holds an ABSP record for the highest score in one move: 329 for the word KREUZERS. He did this at a one-day tournament in Swindon in 2017. He is the 2003 National Scrabble Champion.
|#||Date||Type||Contestant 1||Score||Contestant 2||Guest||Lex||Max|
|1908||30/12/1996||P||Bob Edwards||44 – 55||Harshan Lamabadusuriya||Sheridan Morley||Rob Scriven||85|
|1909||31/12/1996||P||Sandra Verhiest||12 – 50||Harshan Lamabadusuriya||Sheridan Morley||Rob Scriven||70|
|1910||1/01/1997||P||John Verhiest||40 – 66||Harshan Lamabadusuriya||Sheridan Morley||Rob Scriven||72|
|1911||2/01/1997||P||Paul Wells||54 – 36||Harshan Lamabadusuriya||Sheridan Morley||Rob Scriven||72|
|1969||25/03/1997||QF||Harshan Lamabadusuriya||72 – 30||Peter Sampson||Richard Digance||Rob Scriven||73|
|1970||26/03/1997||SF||Harshan Lamabadusuriya||48 – 31||James Martin||Richard Digance||Rob Scriven||71|
|1972||28/03/1997||GF||Harshan Lamabadusuriya||65 – 79||Huw Morgan||Richard Digance||Rob Scriven||116|
|2164||30/12/1997||CP||Harshan Lamabadusuriya||44 – 34||Kate Surtees||Denis Norden||Mark Nyman||72|
|2172||9/01/1998||CQF||Pete Cashmore||65 – 52||Harshan Lamabadusuriya||Gloria Hunniford||Mark Nyman||85|
|S7||3/09/2003||S||Brett Smitheram||87 – 101||Harshan Lamabadusuriya||Richard Stilgoe||Damian Eadie||118|