Origins of Bingo

Many of us only know Bingo as it is played today. But has it always been this way? And the million dollar question, how did it all start? Keep reading to find the answers.

If you are new to bingo, you probably want to know what it is first before you click here to play.

Bingo As We Know It

Bingo is a game of chance that is played on a ticket containing a grid of numbers. The grid had five columns and five rows. Then numbers a randomly called out, and if that number corresponds to a number on your ticket, you mark that number. If all the numbers called out appear on your grid, you call out BINGO, which indicates that you have won. The game host will then check to make sure that all the numbers are indeed there.

However, the way these numbers need to appear on your card may vary according to the type of bingo you are playing. All the numbers might need to occur in one column or row, or diagonally or sometimes even all the numbers on your card.

Where Did It Originate?

It is believed that the game Bingo is of Italian origin. Its history goes way back to 1530 and an Italian variant of the lottery called Lo Giuoco del Lotto D’Italia. In the late 1770s the game made its way to France where it was referred to as Le Lotto and mainly played by filthy rich Frenchmen. A version of the game was also played in Germany in the 1800s, but this was more to help students learn spelling, history and math.

Beano was the name of the game when it first made its way to America in 1929.The game was played predominantly at country fairs where players used to mark their cards with beans, hence the name Beano. The game was renamed to Bingo when a salesman called Edwin S. Lowe heard someone yell Bingo instead of Beano.

Edwin hired Carl Leffler, a math professor, to help him diversify the number combinations on bingo tickets. 6,000 different bingo cards were created by 1930. This prevented the scenario of more than one person calling Bingo simultaneously.

Bingo in Churches and Nursing/Retirement Homes

Edwin was approached by a priest about using Bingo for church fundraisers. This is where Bingo got really popular. Approximately 10,000 bingo games were played weekly by 1934.

Bingo is also popular as a form of therapy in nursing or retirement homes. It is used as a means to help residents relax as well as socialise. You only need a few staff members or volunteers to create this entertaining and fun filled activity. In these types of homes Bingo is not played for the prizes, but more for its other benefits.

Bingo Today

Bingo has come a long way since the 1500s. Not only is it offered at land-based casinos, but it has also made its way to online casinos. The days of perceiving bingo as a game for old people are long gone. It is fast-paced, engaging and the prizes are not too bad either. There are also a variety of different types that you can try.

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