Bingo is a game whose history can be traced all the way back to 1530, to an Italian lottery called Lo Giuoco del Lotto D’Italia. It is a very straightforward and easy social game that lets players interact and chat while numbers are being called. This innate simplicity is one of the many reasons why millions of people are taken by the game. And if, like them, you also find great joy in playing bingo, here are some fun facts that will make you appreciate the game even more:
It wasn’t always called “bingo”
When bingo first arrived in the US in 1929, it was originally called “Beano”. Back then it was considered as a country fair game where the dealer picked a numbered disc from a cigar box while the players marked their cards with beans. Those who successfully formed a line and won would then yell “Beano!”
Bingo cards were popularized by a toy salesman
Edwin S. Lowe was a toy salesman who worked in New York. Lowe first played bingo at a carnival near Atlanta, Georgia, and seeing the potential of the game, he hired Columbia University math professor, Carl Leffler. Together, they increased the number of combinations in bingo cards. By 1930, Leffler and Lowe had already invented 6,000 different bingo cards. Their bingo cards were developed in such a way that there would be fewer non-repeating number groups.
Church bingo is a thing
In the 1930s, when churches were finding it hard to get by due to inadequate funds, a priest in Pennsylvania used bingo as a way to raise money. Church bingo became so popular that in 1934 over 10,000 bingo games were being played in these establishments every week. Nowadays, bingo games are permitted by various states, as long as they are hosted in churches or non-profit groups to raise funds.
Online bingo is on the rise
As one of the world’s most popular and recognizable games, it’s not surprising that bingo has also made a name for itself in the digital space, too. This has helped bring the game to the 21st century, with more players aged 25-34 getting into bingo every year — a stark contrast to the stereotypical demographic associated with bingo.
One reason for this is how the game has adapted to appeal to younger audiences. The bingo rooms featured on Cheeky Bingo have a roster of online games that provide new and exciting dynamics to this old favorite, with fun graphics, thrilling effects, and lively music to go with the experience. There are even tie-ups with well-known shows like Friends to further entice new players. To date, the largest recorded online bingo is a whopping £430,900 — that’s the equivalent to around $603,700.
Women dominate bingo
Whether it’s in a classic bingo hall or an online room, bingo players are usually more likely to be female than male. In fact, 80% of physical bingo players and 83% of online players are women. In addition, the largest bingo prize winner is said to be a grandmother from Bargoed in Caerphilly county named Christine Bradfield. Bradfield won more than £1.1 million ($1.54 million) at The Castle Club in Merthyr Tydfil.
Bingo can even help boost brain power among seniors
Most of the studies that have examined the effects of bingo on senior players have found that the game can help boost cognitive ability, as well as hand-eye coordination. In addition to this, other scientific papers have also noted that bingo can help increase alertness.
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