Tuesday, 22 February 2011


I'm heading out tonight to Bingo with some friends, the last time we went I was surprised at the number of younger people there, both male and female. I have always considered it to be an "OLD LADIES" game. New research (Bingo is good for you) has said that Bingo is one of the most beneficial activities for the elderly as it involves being with other people as well as keeping alert monitoring numbers being called out to see if they won a prize. Although this would work with younger people too. Everywhere you look today Bingo is in our faces thanks to advertisers, it started of with Bingo games in newspapers and then online, and now even on our phones. I can't figure out what the huge draw is for it. Yes I enjoy it, but I go for the company and the laughs, not for the winnings, although those are very slim. 

I just did a search of news stories on Google over the last 24 hours and 5360 stories came up...... that is just amazing considering what else is going on today in the world, Earth Quake in Christ Church, Civil Unrest in Libya.

Bingo here in the UK is played on long slim sheets like this and I've seen some women play 4 or 5 books at a time......

Yet in the USA they play on square cards like this

Bingo was original only played in our church halls, but in the 80's saw a huge increase in private Bingo clubs.  The game's history can be traced back to 1530, to an Italian lottery called "Lo Giuoco del Lotto D'Italia," which is still played every Saturday in Italy. From Italy the game was introduced to France in the late 1770s, where it was called "Le Lotto", a game played among wealthy Frenchmen. The Germans also played a version of the game in the 1800s, but they used it as a child's game to help students learn math, spelling and history.

When the game reached North America in 1929, it became known as "beano". It was first played at a carnival near Atlanta, Georgia. New York toy salesman Edwin S. Lowe renamed it "bingo" after he overheard someone accidentally yell "bingo" instead of "beano". He hired a Columbia University math professor, Carl Leffler, to help him increase the number of combinations in bingo cards. By 1930, Leffler had invented 6,000 different bingo cards. [It is said that Leffler then went insane.]

A Catholic priest from Pennsylvania approached Lowe about using bingo 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.

Wish me luck tonight. 

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