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Bingo Reviews and Tips

History of Bingo Games

The game of Bingo was first called “Lo Giuoco del Lotto D’Italia” in Italy in the 16th century where the game used cards that had 3 rows and 9 columns (90 ball), and was played as a lottery.  Since that time the game has been played there almost every Saturday to this day. Bingo gained popularity with the elite in France in the late 18th century where itwas called “Le Lotto”.  The game moved into Germany in the 1800′s and it was used as an educational game for children.

By the late 19th century the game had moved across the Atlantic into America.  In Atlanta, Georgia in the late 1920′s the game was called Beano.  The name Beano came about because dried beans were used as markers to cover the numbers after they were called.  While in Georgia a shoe salesman by the name of Edwin S. Lowe saw the game being played in a carnival tent.  Right before his eyes he watched while the players just couldn’t get enough of Beano, and he also realised what a fantastic money making opportunity Beano could be. So he took the game back to New York along with cardboard, dried beans and a rubber stamp, changed the card so it had five rows and five columns (75 ball) and started to play Beano games in his apartment.  The name Bingo came about when a girl called out Bingo instead of Beano, and well the rest is history!

But how did Bingo start being played in churches, as it is so often today?  A priest from Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania thought it would be a good way for the church to get itself out of some financial difficulties and bought bingo cards from Lowe.  After trying the game out for a while he reported back to Lowe that Bingo was actually making the church lose money.  This was due to the limited number of bingo cards, which meant there was often five or ten winners per game.  Armed with this information along with the understanding of the fundraising potential Bingo offered, Lowe decided if it was going to be successful he had to evolve the game so that the players had a lower probability of winning.  He enlisted the help of Carl Leffler, a mathematics professor from Columbia University.  Leffler’s challenge was to come up with 6000 unique bingo cards in a minimal amount of time.  By 1930 Leffler had created 6000 unique combination bingo cards – and unfortunately had gone insane.

Thereafter the Wilkes-Barre church in Pennsylvania re-introduced Bingo which resulted in them being freed from their financial woes.  Bingo’s popularity increased massivelyand by 1934 an estimated 10,000 games every week were being played across America.

Skip forward seven decades and in 2003 the first game of bingo was played online.  This has seen the bingo online audience of today have an average age of between 18 – 40 which is a massive departure from traditional Bingo average ago of 60+ years old.

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