Wed. May 29th, 2024

The game of Bingo has a rather intriguing history, dating back to 16th century Italy, where it was first introduced as “Lo Giuoco Del Lotto d’Italia”. Though not exactly the same, the similarities are certainly profound enough to be considered the origins of Bingo, as we know it today. In fact, Lo Giuoco Del Lotto d’Italia is still played on a regular basis in Italy.

As far as the modern version of Bingo, particularly the traditional North American version of 75-Ball Bingo, we have to go all the way back to 1929, to a traveling carnival that set up show just outside of Atlanta, Georgia. Attending this carnival was a New York businessman by the name of Edwin Lowe. Edwin was a toy manufacturer who always kept his eye open for new ideas.

On this particular day, Edwin Lowe would discover something that would become a pinnacle in society – a fad that never quite lost its luster – the game of Bingo.

I really shouldn’t say Bingo, actually, – not yet anyways – as what Edwin Lowe came upon was a enthralling game termed ‘Beano’. Underneath a large tent, he heard shouts of excitement and merriment, and upon investigation, saw that a significant group of people were holding cardboard cards and placing dried beans on the various boxes marked on the cards. At the head of the tent, a man was drawing numbers from a box and calling them out. When a participant completed a full line on the card covered with these dried beans, he would stand and shout “Beano!”

Edwin Lowe was amazed by the sheer intensity with which these people were playing. As the hours went on, Beano continued into the night, until near 3 a.m. as a matter of fact. The man running the tent actually had to force the players to leave, as they simply couldn’t get enough of the game.

Seeing the obvious profit potential in ‘Beano’, Edwin went back to his home in New York and immediately began drawing up his own cardboard cards, fixed with numbers in rows of 5×5. He obtained a bag of dry beans and created his own number-calling box. Finally, Edwin invited a group of friends to his house to play.

It was an immediate success. Lowe’s friends absolutely loved the game of Beano. Their excitement over winning was so much, in fact, that one man actually jumped out and accidentally shouted out “Bingo!”

And thus, the game of Bingo was born. Edwin was determined to market the game, under the name “Lowe’s Bingo”, but knew he needed a lot more materials first. He went to a math professor at Columbia University by the name of Carl Leffler, requesting the design 6,000 Bingo cards, each with a different pattern of numbers. Though there it has not been proven, it is widely believed that Professor Leffler went insane after completing the task.

The story is pretty easy to figure out from there. Edwin marketed the game of “Lowe’s Bingo”, collecting royalties from those who wished to also market the game, simply termed “Bingo”.

The story does not end there, however. There is one more interesting tid-bit of information in the history of Bingo that is too prevalent in today’s society to overlook. How did Bingo become so popular in churches and charity events?

A pastor actually came up with the idea in the 1940’s, when his congregation was forced to listen to his sermon in a dilapidated building in severe need of repairs. Once again, it was an immediate success. Bingo is now the most popular form of fund raising for charities, offered on a weekly basis in congregations across North America.

As modern technology progressed, Bingo spread from Bingo Halls and Church buildings to what we affectionately know today as the world wide web. Online Bingo sites have been popping up on the Internet for well over a decade, some played just for the fun of the game, and others allowing players to purchase tickets and player Bingo for money.

Online bingo games, both for free and for real money, are ongoing 24/7 at hundreds, if not thousands, of Internet sites –, Foxy Bingo, Ladbrokes Bingo, Sun Bingo, Wink Bingo, just to name a few. The Ladbrokes company, for instance, is one of the UK’s oldest and most respected betting exchange companies, and even they decided to get in on the action.

Literally millions of people around the globe flock to online Bingo halls every day to join in the excitement. Whether just for fun or for real money – Bingo is one of the cheapest “gambling” games in the world, after all – stop on over to any of these online Bingo halls and find out what the fuss is all about.


By Sean

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