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Bingo Beginnings

A History of Bingo

Bingo is an enjoyable game, and it has been played in homes, clubs, holiday centres and other recreational places for many years. This game belongs to all sections of a society.

It is a very simple and easy game. It has also made the transition to online bingo where it is emerging as one of the most popular online games available. Bingo is a game frequently played with a huge number of people in halls or other venues. People are either given these cards, or they buy them; these cards are of 5 X 5 grids that have 25 numbers on them. Each grid section has a number that is normally paired with letters that run across the top of the grid.

A caller draws out cards or uses bingo balls to call out each number. All the players mark their spaces, if they have the letter/number combination on their bingo grid card. The objective of bingo is to be the first to get five numbers in a row, horizontally, diagonally or vertically. When a person obtains these five numbers, he or she shouts out "BINGO"; he/she may want to be rewarded with awards or money, or simply leave with the satisfaction of winning.

Bingo was invented in Italy, with the name of Lotto, in the sixteenth century. It is the direct successor of Lo Giuoco del Lotto d-Italia. In 1530, when Italy was united, the Italian National Lottery Lo Giuoco del Lotto d-Italia was organised, and has been being held at weekly intervals to date.

Today, the Italian State lottery is essential to the budget of the government, with a yearly contribution of more than 75 million dollars. It came to the French court in the eighteenth century. In 1778, it was reported in the French press that Le Lotto had arrested the fancy of the intelligentsia.

Bingo stepped inside America in the early twentieth century. The Germans also enjoyed a version of the game in the 1800s, but they used it only as a game to help students for the purpose of learning mathematics, spellings and history. There were some other educational Lotto games such as "Spelling Lotto", "Animal Lotto," and "Historical Lotto". When the game reached North America in 1929, it was known as "beano". It was first played at a carnival near Atlanta, Georgia. A toy salesman of New York, Edwin S. Lowe, renamed it as "bingo", after he overheard a lady accidentally yell "bingo" instead of "beano".

He hired the services of a mathematics professor from Columbia University, Mr Carl Leffler, to help him enlarge the number of combinations in bingo cards. By the end of 1930, Leffler had invented 6,000 different bingo cards. Soon after, bingo became a popular game all over the country. Many churches and social communities used bingo to generate funds for their activities. Lowe received thousands of letters, asking for help with setting up bingo games, so he published the first Instructional Manual for Bingo. This effort was followed by a monthly newsletter called "The Blotter", which was distributed to 37,000 subscribers.

By the end of 1934, there were an estimated 10,000 bingo games a week, and the firm of Ed Lowe had a thousand employees, dedicatedly trying to keep up with demand. According to Lowe, the largest bingo game of history was played at Teaneck Armoury, in New York, where 60,000 players took part in the game, with another 10,000 being turned away at the door.

Bingo has taken numerous educational forms. European countries are using it as a teaching aid for preschool children. It creates an interesting tool for teaching mathematics to young children. It exists in a number of variations for spelling and teaching history. Bingo has many forms, both online and offline. However, the basic rules of the game remain the same for all variations.

It is an easy game that gives the players great excitement and enjoyment at a nominal cost. This is one of the important reasons for the popularity and success of bingo. The future is expected to show us some more exciting and thrilling changes in bingo.

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