A Brief History of Bingo

The origin of Bingo

Originally known as a game of chance, bingo was developed in sunny Italy around 1530. 

It is believed that bingo originated from an Italian lottery game. It wasn’t until the 18th century that bingo started becoming popular in the US. 

Bingo today is reminiscent of Le Lotto, a popular French lottery game, but both are linked to Italy and its original lottery game. It was known in North America as Beano and spread across the globe.

The game evolved into other formats like Slingo, 75-ball and 90-ball bingo, and it became more prevalent in society. 

It wasn’t until the 90’s that bingo really started to take off in the US. By now you’ve seen the stereotypical retirement homes and bingo halls filled with pensioners become more common in recent decades. Because of this, bingo has become associated with the slower pace of retirement homes.

How did bingo get its name?

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 on bingo cards. The number of bingo cards Leffler invented reached 6,000 by 1930.

How was the bingo game created?

Each square has a number, except the middle square, which is designated “free.” Games of bingo usually use 1 to 75 numbers. 

Each player marks the numbers he or she wishes to play, before daubing the numbers according to the draw.

What bingo numbers are called the most?

Number 6 is the number most often called after winning at bingo, so PlayOJO determined that it is indeed the luckiest number. 

The number 6 is actually called almost 300 times more than that dreaded number 13.

Is there a trick to winning bingo?

There is no real trick to playing bingo. In order to play bingo successfully, you need to mentally and physically prepare. You’re going to want a good night’s sleep as this game is mentally draining.

Ensure you are staying hydrated and have eaten well before you start playing. When you start playing breaks are short so have some foods you can snack on. 

Arrive at the bingo game early and pick your cards, chat with friends and gather at your table. Most importantly have fun!  

How much does it cost to play bingo?

Typically, playing one game per session would cost about $20. 

Depending on the advertised specials, prices and payouts will vary. A regular bingo session typically lasts about 3 – 3 ½ hours.

How many games are in a bingo session?

Usually, a Main Pack is necessary to participate in any game, and most of the time a Main Pack will be required to enter the playing area. 

This type of pack is still commonly referred to as the “Admission Pack.” The number of games in the Main Pack varies by region but generally contains anywhere from 8 to 20 games.