The evolution of bingo is quite the story as it has lots of milestones which have shaped the
game as we know it today. The game started back in 1530 in Italy Circa and has been played
in many regions from Europe to America, with players making amends where they thought
necessary before it landed in the carnival games towards the start of the twentieth century.
At this time, people knew it as beano, and it was fast gaining traction in the gaming circles. This game is quite exciting and those who play it, in traditional gaming halls or on mobile apps, have quite a thrill as they collect their wins, and engage with other players on a social platform. Let’s get into the evolution of the game:
The game started in Italy back in the sixteenth century. At this time, it was a national
lottery which was quite popular following the unification of the country. Players enjoyed it
so much that they played it every week, a trend which has not stopped as more generations
embrace the game with time.
You may think that the mode of playing was different in the sixteenth century but what you see in the bingo halls today is what existed back in the day. The games took place on Saturday nights where the players would sit in the gaming halls, holding cards with rows. The moderator would pull out the winning numbers from a sack which held scrambled figures to ensure that the selection process was fair.
This process continued till the eighteenth century when the game crossed the borders and soon the French were playing it. The French made a few changes to the game by modifying the rows to include the nine vertical and three standard rows which are characteristic of the 90 Ball bingo cards that we see to-date.
Over time, the game crossed over to Germany towards the start of the nineteenth century and people saw it as a means to pass on skills to their children, in the form of learning adjectives and numbers. This teaching technique spread fast, and it is not uncommon to find a variant of the game in use to pass on numbers and vocabulary skills to school-going children.
People in the UK started playing bingo towards the start of the nineteenth century, which was
around the same time that Germans used the game as a teaching tool. Players enjoyed it so
much that the halls were soon filling up with people ready to try their luck, much as is the
case at present.
The Brits were not quick to make changes to the game. However, they did start the Bingo Lingo tradition. Examples of this lingo would be duck and dive regarding number 25 and between the sticks regarding number 86.
If you plan on playing a live game, it is essential to understand the slang; else you will miss out on a lot of fun. It doesn’t take much time to master the lingo, and you should be a pro in no time.
By the time bingo hit the USA, it had been through several regions and had gone through
several changes. It featured in a carnival game in Atlanta in 1929 and was known as beano.
The fascinating thing about bingo is that it was known as beano for a long time, and not
what we know it as today.
It was not until Edwin Lowe, who was a toy salesman, decided to mass produce the cards in the hope of making a profit that the name came about during one of his test games. In the heat of the moment, one of the players in his apartment screamed out bingo on winning and Edwin felt that the name had a better ring to it and he thus branded the game as such.
He sold twelve cards for a dollar when he started and soon realized that there were too many winners in the games, so he added some squares to the board and started making the products for commercial use. He partnered with a math professor who worked on possible outcomes, creating 6000 bingo cards.
A Catholic priest later approached Edwin asking to use the cards in his church to raise funds, and the game grew in popularity owing to a large number of players enjoying it every week. Five years after the Atlanta Carnival, the game had tens of thousands of players. At present, players spend tens of millions of dollars in the game each week, and they now know it as bingo.
Given that this is a random game, it can be hard to emerge the winner, but some lucky people
are sure to leave you itching for a chance to play. One such person is John Orchard, who
played thirty pence and took home £5.9 million. This win allowed him to retire in style and
set upon enjoying his golden years doing what he loves best.
The game has undergone other changes, such as the crossover to online platforms, but has not lost its appeal which has kept it popular over the centuries.