Bingo: A trip back in time

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timewarpThe game you play regularly and love dearly has its roots firmly planted in history. How much do you really know about a game that has probably being enjoyed by your family for many generations? It’s about time you knew exactly what you are playing and where it came from in the first place. You never know, if you know your game then maybe it will bring you a little extra luck when you play.

In the U.S, bingo was initially called “beano”. It was a fairground game where a merchant would choose numbered plates from a cigar box and players would stamp their cards with beans. They shouted excitedly “beano” if they won. Bingo did not begin in America though; it goes further back and belongs in Italy.

Bingo’s history can be followed all the way back to 1530, to an Italian lottery game called “Lo Giuoco del Lotto D’Italia,” which is still enjoyed by many each and every Saturday in Italy. From Italy, the diversion was acquainted with France in the late 1770s, where it was called “Le Lotto”, a game played among rich Frenchmen. The Germans likewise played a form of the game in the 1800s, yet they utilised it as a kid’s amusement to help develop skills and learn math, spelling and history. Bingo is therefore very much from Europe but has being embraced by the whole world.

It wasn’t until 1929 that the much loved games crossed seas and reached North America and then it became know as “beano” which sounded more like the word “bingo” that we all know and love. The game of “beano” was first played at a carnival near Atlanta, Georgia. New York toy salesman Edwin S.Lowe was responsible for calling the game ‘bingo’ after he simply misheard someone shouts it instead of “beano” as they won. After that he set about on a mission to improve the game and make it bigger. He hired the help of a University Maths professor called Carl Leffler whom helped him increase the number of combinations within the bingo cards. By 1930, Leffler had invented a whopping 6,000 different bingo cards, it is said that he went insane as a result of this project, but who wouldn’t!

And the plot thickens; A Catholic priest from Pennsylvania drew closer Lowe about utilizing bingo as a method for raising church funds. At the point when bingo began being played in houses of worship it turned out to be progressively well known. By 1934, an expected 10,000 bingo recreations were played week by week, and today more than $90 million dollars are spent on bingo every week in North America alone.

Now the next time you have a flutter at your favourite game you can take joy in knowing were it came from…oh and there’s also a man who was driven insane inventing it. Are you feeling lucky?

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