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The History of Bingo

The History of BingoBingo is one of those family games that you can play with your family members and spend some quality time socializing. In many countries this game has been and still is a televised show, while in the US bingo is usually played in special bingo halls or as part of some small town happening to entertain the elders, or to raise funds for something.

The game is extremely easy to play. You buy a single or multiple bingo tickets printed with 20 randomly assigned numbers on them out of a maximum of 80 or 90, and as numbers are drawn you just mark them in your ticket(s) if they appear there. So, if the marked numbers form a pattern that was predetermined by the operator, or if you have marked all of the numbers in your ticket, you’ve won.

In the Beginning

Bingo is a game that is very similar to lottery and it is said that it was directly influenced by it. Lotto is today a very important game of any country’s national revenue. Lotto was also very big in 16th century Italy where it was actually invented. Drawing was held every week and continues even today.

The first account of a bingo-like game was reported in the 18th century. This first appearance of bingo was developed with lotto as the basis of it. The lotto card was expanded and altered in order to have nine vertical and three horizontal rows that contained both numbers and empty spaces, just like today.

For the drawing of numbers they used numbered chips, and when the number has been drawn the person announced the number loudly and the people would mark it in their card. Then the winner was the one that has marked all numbers in a single horizontal line.

From “Beano” to “Bingo”

Something that not many people know is that bingo was actually called beano and was largely played at carnivals. In the 1920s a salesman called Edwin Lowe discovered the game and later used to play it with his friends and to save his company from going broke. He also claims that the word “bingo” was mistakenly shouted by one of his friends instead of “beano”. However, there early accounts of the name that go as far back as the 18th century in England.

Lowe saw how people relentlessly stood in line to play the game at a carnival where they were handed cards with numbers and when the owner of the tent announced a number the players would place a small bean on top of the number. When a player filled an entire line of beans he would shout “beano”. The tent was regularly full until the closing of the carnival. Later, Lowe developed his own set for the game and had used it to revive his company from the dead.

However, the first person to standardize the game was Hugh J. Ward. He even released a book of rules for playing bingo back in 1933, and copyrighted the game. Later came out many imitations of the game as bingo grew in popularity.

Modern Day Bingo

Bingo was so popular in the 20th century that printing of cards was done 24 hours a day across the entire nation and later the world. Today bingo is less played in the same form as it was played during the 20th century, and operators are more focused on providing bingo services via the Internet. The simplicity of the game allows for a more convenient online playing session where everything is automated. The socializing character of the game might have disappeared though, however people are able to chat with each other anyway.

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