From what is said, it sounds like the person who pulled the tile would NEVER win a tie.
Nobody is closer to the player whose turn it is but himself.
In the German original the player in turn will win all ties, in the US version he will lose all ties.
I have only played with the German rules. With the German rules the player who is drawing a tile will know that he is taking a risk of drawing a tile that he might end up using hilself (whether he wants it or not). In the Plenary rules he can draw a tile and force the next player in seating order to take it (if no-one want's it), which we think is a weird rule.