A Brief History of Bingo

Bingo game started its way in 1530 during the unification of Italy. This is the time that the original version of bingo game was introduced and called then as Lo Giuoco del Lotto d'Italia. This Italian lottery is still being played up to the present.

The word about the bingo game spread to France from Italy on 1778. This Italian lottery uses cards that are divided into nine vertical columns and three horizontal rows. Every row in the card consists of a randomly arranged five numbers and four empty squares. Every vertical column consists of ten probable numbers.

On the wooden chips, the numbers one to 90 are being written and then placed inside a bag. One at a time, the wooden chips will be drawn out from the bag until there is a player who have completed a horizontal and becomes the winner. This bingo game has attained popularity throughout the European continent during the 19th century.

Bingo game reached America from Germany through a carnival pitchman who was travelling there. The bingo game variation in Germany was only employed to be a game for children to assist them in learning math, history, and spelling. This carnival pitchman realized the potential of the game and made some developments by allowing players to win through horizontal, vertical, and diagonal patterns. Beans were used to mark the numbers, thus changing the name of the game to Beano.

In the year 1929, Edwin S. Lowe, a traveling toy salesman, happened to drop by at the carnival in Atlanta, Georgia and was able to witness the excitement and anticipation of the Beano players when a player yells out "Beano!"

Edwin Lowe noticed that the game has some marketing potential, which led to creating his own version upon returning to New York. Lowe invited many friends over to play the game and the excitement and anticipation was seen. When one of the players stammered and yells out "Bingo!" rather than "Beano!", the bingo name hit Lowe, thus using that name when his own version of the game was produced publicly. And from that time on, the popularity of bingo games never ceased.

During that time, 24 unique cards were only used and due to the demand of the bingo game, Lowe contracted Carl Leffler, a mathematics professor, to make 6,000 new card combinations. And it has been said that Leffler became insane after finishing the job.

By the year 1934, about 10,000 bingo games are constantly played every week. And today in North America, more than $90 million are spent weekly at bingo games. Upon introducing the online bingo games, the popularity of bingo game have increased significantly.


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