B-I-N-G-O! With children and adults alike, many love playing the game bingo. It is a traditional game that stood the test of time, being played for hundreds of years. 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 wealty 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 know 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.
Like most children, I was introduced to Bingo at a young age in a school setting. Little trinkets and prizes were awarded to the winners of the class. It was a highlight to a child’s memory for carnivals, fundraisers and classrooms. Today, as the world is set up with online games, it is easier to play, but very different from the community gatherings of playing the game.
As a couple or family, consider the experience of going to a bingo hall or find a bingo fundraiser to attend for the evening. It is a great way to spend a few hours together for fun. Be sure to bring snacks as part of your evening. You may be the only younger group there, but maybe it is something to consider by introducing the idea of traditional bingo halls to a new generation.