It’s hard to believe it, but the game of bingo that millions of people all around the world enjoy playing may have its origins in Italy as far back as the 16th century. At the time, the game was called “Lo Guico del Lotto D’Italia” and, soon after its invention, its popularity spread to France.
But the bingo that we know and love today has a far more recent history, and it all started with a traveling American salesman in the 1930s called Edwin Lowe. One day, when visiting a traveling fair, he heard a game being played called “beano”, in which players each had a card with numbers on it and if a number was called out they put a dried bean on the square.
Lowe saw the huge potential for the game and decided to develop it into a marketable game. While he was developing it, rumor has it that one day he was watching players in a trial game, when one of the people cried out “bingo” by mistake instead of “beano” when they’d filled up their card. He decided this was a much better name, therefore bingo, as we know it, was born.
In the late 1940s bingo crossed the Atlantic and it quickly became very popular in the UK. Before long, bingo halls started opening up throughout the country and these became important places for mainly women to meet up, enjoy a night of socializing, and play a few games.
Of course, these days, a lot of people enjoy playing the game online due to its accessibility and convenience. That’s why it’s so popular to play bingo games at Lucky Pants Bingo, for example, today. Not only are there several different kinds of classic games to play, but many online bingo sites offer free bonuses and rewards; such as Lucky pants’ Lucky Club, where you can access free online bingo cards and even be rewarded with special bonuses on your birthday.
When the bingo hall was in its heyday certain rituals grew up around it. One of these was the habit of the bingo caller attaching certain phrases related to the numbers, for example; “all on its own, number 1”, and “man alive, number 5”. These all just added to the fun of the experience.
As time moved on and other forms of entertainment became more popular, bingo started to fall out of favor. Many halls sadly closed down, and player numbers dropped. But when online gambling began to spread the first bingo sites started to appear and soon many people were rediscovering what a great game bingo can be.
This successful rebirth has also started to see people revisiting traditional bingo halls, while also introducing younger fans, such as students. As a result, some nightclubs are even putting on special bingo nights these days with music, dancing, and fun prizes.
So, centuries on, it looks like bingo is as popular as ever, and long may that continue!