The much loved bingo games that everyone is bonkers about is steeped in a rich history that may be quite surprising to you. It’s roots are deep and have taken many twists and turns as the game has developed, transformed and flourished throughout many different societies across the world.
But what is the full story behind the classic and exhilarating game of chance? We delve deep into the origins of bingo to find out!
Like many other amazing things, the bingo game originated in Italy and worked very much like our modern-day National Lottery. This was in the 1500 and bingo has been played in all its multi-faceted glory ever since its Italian inception.
The way the game was played was actually very similar to our National Lottery and it might surprise you how little has changed since it was first played – each player would have their card with rows of numbers and numbers were drawn from a drawstring bag and players would eagerly match their numbers to the numbers pulled from the bag – sound familiar?
The Growing Popularity of Bingo
It wasn’t until the 1700s when the exiting game caught on overseas and was first recorded being played outside of Italy in the 1770s by their neighbour France, who coined the game “Le Lotto”. The French helped to evolve the game into a bingo card with three rows and nine columns which is a format that we are familiar with today and word soon spread across Europe into the Germanic territory in late 1800. It wasn’t just gambling adults who were interested in the game, children in Germany also used the bingo-style game as a learning tool to advance their numeracy and literacy.
Bingo is famous for its cheeky and entertaining rhyme and slang for its numbers which are gleefully called out by bingo callers all across the UK including ‘unlucky for some 13’, ‘baker’s bun 61’ and ‘top of the shop 90!’ It was in the UK that these phrases originated, not long after it started being played back in the early the1800s.
That was only the beginning and the game continued to grow in popularity and started being played in America in the late 1920s under the name Beano, until it was eventually changed by chance when a winner of the game accidentally cried out in excitement “bingo!” when she won. It soon caught on and was marketed as bingo which helped the game to take off in America until it was a big part of America’s gambling arena.
Today, over $100m is spent each week in the US by players on bingo, proving that the game truly has stood the test of time and flourished.
Now there are so many ways to play the game and players aren’t just limited to playing in bingo halls with the rise of online bingo, you can play whenever and wherever you like and shout bingo at the top of your lungs when you win, all from the comfort of your own home with thousands online bingo games to choose from!