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History of Bingo

BEANO is the original name for BINGO which is actually a country fair game in the United States of America. It was a numbered and columned box of cigarettes that was used by the number caller.

Just like the same with Bingo, the word “Beano!” will be shouted if someone had crossed off the correct given patterns in a particular set of games.

It was called BEANO because of the beans that are used by the players to mark the numbers off of their cards. The routes of this game, bingo is known to get started as far as the 15th century to a game in Italy called “Lo Giuoco Lotto Italia” although Beano was originated in the United States. The French picked up lotto in the late 1700s. One version used a playing card with nine columns and three rows, with four free spaces per row.

Since then, the game wide spread to other different known places in Europe like France and Germany. (Very interestingly, even to this day you can still play that lotto every Saturday.)

The number caller has a bag with wooden chips inside marked numbers 1 through 90 (1 to 10 for the first column, 11 to 20 for the second, and so forth). He would then pick numbers 1 by 1 from the bag and announce that number to all the players. And the first player who has a card completed one whole row was the winner. These lottery-type bingo games soon became a craze throughout Europe.

It is said that the very first occurrence of the game “Beano” in North America was at the carnival in Atlanta, Georgia in 1929.

There is actually a story that was told about the reason why the game had turned from “Beano” to bingo and happens to be quite funny. Edwin Lowe, a toy salesman overheard a Beano player shouted “Bingo!” unintentionally. And then so, he thought that the word “Bingo” will be a better name for the game because it had a better ring in recall and that is actually better for marketing and advertising purposes. Lowe then started to work on the game to produce the game massively and with the helped of his friends to test it out. That was the time the term “Bingo” became more popular and very well known to many.

“I cannot describe the strange sense of elation which that girl’s cry brought to me,” Lowe said. “All I could think of was that I was going to come out with this game, and it was going to be called Bingo!”

Lowe then was able to begin to sell his products, the first set is said to be 12 cards for at least $1, and of course 24 cards for $2. But there were always problems that occur, for instance is the number of winning cards, too many winners in each game! At this point, Lowe decided that he needed to increase the number of columns and the number of rows to identically increase the number of squares on the bingo card to make it even in probability to take off commercially. He searched for a collaborator and met a math professor named Carl Leffler.

Leffler who was a teacher in the University of Columbia approved to assist Lowe in his venture. Leffler studied and analyzed all the angles including the mathematical possibilities and ended up manufacturing a total of not less than 6000 different bingo cards for production. But according to some gossips, the buzz has it, after he had done this completing this very special assignment Leffler went through insanity. Soon after the game was ready to be mass formed, a Catholic priest asked Lowe if he could use the game to raise funds for the churches. And because of this agreement, the game became very popular especially for those churches that can use the game for free to enhance and develop their way of living as religious aspect. And since so many people were playing this bingo game at churches, it grew in attractiveness very quickly in the conventional mainstream too.

And so then, by 1934, Americans recorded a roughly 10,000 bingo games played weekly by their constituents.

Today in 2011, more than $100 million are used for this bingo game in just North America every single week. Not only in this area of continent but all over the world. In Asia itself, every mall has its own hall for this game. Every corner of the streets have scattered tables for this game called Bingo.

Therefore it can be told that Bingo players come from all walks of life. No stereotypical player of this game is noticed. Most of them just like to socialize, which is why they go to bingo. According to survey before, most regular players are over the age of 45, but bingo is now being discovered also by young people every day as a new way to socialize. And both men and women are enjoying the game, whether by themselves or with a spouse or friend because the truth is ……………….. Bingo is fun for everyone.

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