The History of Bingo
The game of bingo can be traced back to a lottery game called "Lo Giuoco del Lotto d'Italia" played in Italy in c.1530. By the eighteenth century, in France, the game expanded with playing cards, tokens,and reading the numbers out loud. In the nineteenth century, the game was widely used in Germany for educational purposes to teach children spelling and multiplication tables.
The game first appeared in America at a traveling carnival near Atlanta in 1929. Then called Beano, it was played with dried beans, a rubber stamp, and cardboard sheets. New York toy salesman, Edwin S. Lowe, was watching this game and noticed how engaged the players were.
Lowe took the idea with him to New York where he introduced the game to his friends. He conducted the game similar to the one he had witnessed, using dried beans, a rubber numbering stamp and card board. His friends loved the game. It is said that one of his players made bingo history when so excited to have won that they yelled out “Bingo” instead of “Beano." The original Lowe Bingo Game had two versions; the first a 12-card set, the second a set with 24 cards. Bingo was a wild success.
After Bingo hit the market, Lowe was approached by a Catholic priest from Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania as a means of raising church funds. When bingo started being played in churches it became increasingly popular. By 1934, an estimated 10,000 bingo games were played weekly, and today more than $90 million dollars are spent on bingo each week in North America alone.
How To Play
Players buy cards with numbers on them in a 5 x 5 grid corresponding to the five letters in the word
B-I-N-G-O. Numbers with a letter (such as B-9) are drawn at random (out of a possible 75 in American Bingo, and 90 in British and Australian Bingo) until one player completes a 'Bingo' pattern, such as a line with five numbers in a vertical, horizontal or diagonal row on one of their cards and wins the prize. There are many possible patterns to play for. See examples of bingo patterns below.
A bingo Card contains 24 numbered spaces and one free space (blank), with which you play BINGO. The numbers are assigned at random on each card and are arranged in five columns of five numbers each by five rows (5 x 5 = 25 in total including the blank square).
The numbers in the B column are between 1 and 15, in the I column between 16 and 30, in the N column (containing four numbers and the free space) between 31 and 45, in the G column between 46 and 60, and in the O column between 61 and 75