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This weekly lottery has been held virtually every Saturday since its inception. By 1778 word of this game had spread to France and captured the fancy of the intelligentsia. It was during this period that the popular version of the lottery was born.




Cards were divided into three horizontal rows and nine vertical columns. Each horizontal row contained a total of nine squares – five with numbers and four blank squares – arranged randomly in the row. The vertical columns contained ten numbers each: column one contained the numbers 1 – 10
column two contained 11 – 20
column three contained 21 – 30 and so on until the ninth column
which contained the numbers 81 – 90. Wooden chips with the numbers 1 – 90 were placed in a bag and drawn out one at a time. Each player had a unique lotto card and if the number called was on their card they marked it off. The first person to completely cover a horizontal row was the winner.




In the 1800s the popularity of lottery games spread throughout Europe. Education variations were created to aid children in learning their multiplication tables
spelling and even history.




We could all be yelling “Beano!”




What started as the Italian lottery made its way to America via a carnival pitchman touring Germany. There he came across a lottery game and recognized its potential appeal as a carnival tent game. He made a few revisions to the game play
including allowing players to complete a row vertically
horizontally or diagonally in order to win. And he changed the name to Beano.




He was plying his trade one December evening in 1929 at a carnival near Atlanta
when a traveling toy salesman
Edwin S. Lowe
happened along. Early for a sales call
Lowe decided to stop at the carnival. The only tent open was the Beano tent
which was so crowded with people that Lowe wasn’t able to play the game for himself.




Lowe watched as the players eagerly listened for the next number to be called and
if they had the number on their card
covered it with a bean. The excitement and tension in the crowd was palpable. When a player finally had a row covered
they yelled out “Beano!” Lowe watched in astonishment as the pitchman tried several times to close his tent
only to have the players insist he continue. It wasn’t until 3:00 am that the games ended
and even then the pitchman had to chase the players away.




A slip of the tongue
and Bingo was born




Lowe immediately realized the mass market potential for Beano. Upon his return to his home in New York
he created his own Beano game by procuring some beans
cardboard and a rubber number stamp. He invited friends to his apartment to play the game. There he saw the same rapt attention and excitement that he had witnessed at the carnival. One player in particular was growing ever more excited as the beans piled up on her card. When she finally had a complete row
in her rush to yell out the required “Beano
” she became tongue tied and instead stammered




“I cannot describe the strange sense of elation which that girl’s cry brought to me
” Lowe said. “All I could think of was that I was going to come out with this game
and it was going to be called Bingo!”



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Lowe’s earliest Bingo games came in two varieties: a 12-card set that cost a dollar and a 24-card set that cost two dollars. Although the name “Bingo” could have been trademarked
the game itself
having come out of the public domain
had no chance of being protected. Once the success of Lowe’s game was evident
imitators came out of the woodwork. Lowe’s only request to his competitors was for them to pay him a dollar a year to call their games “Bingo.” Thus the name became generic for the game.




Bingo every Wednesday at 8:00 p.m




It was a priest from Wilkes-Barre
Pennsylvania and his financially ailing church that fused the game with churches across the country. A parishioner had come up with the idea of using Bingo as a way to raise money for the church. But with only 24 unique cards to play with
the priest was finding that there were half a dozen winners for every game. The priest contacted Lowe about producing a large number of unique number combinations for the cards. Lowe recognized the fund-raising potential of the game and enlisted the help of a professor of mathematics at Columbia University named Carl Leffler.




Leffler was charged with the task of producing 6
000 new bingo cards. He requested that he be paid on a per card basis. The more cards he created
the more difficult it was to come up with unique combinations. Toward the end he was being paid $100 per card. When the task was finally complete
it is said that the professor went insane!




But the increased number of bingo cards was exactly what was needed to make the game a staple at churches across the country and a sound source of fund-raising.




Some Bingo Trivia …




• There are 2? million regular female bingo players.






• Played by all ages around the world
30% of bingo players are under the age of 35.






• Ninety-six percent of bingo players have won at some point while playing.






• Research shows women are much happier playing bingo
and 15% say they engage in bingo for socializing and companionship.






• The number one reason for playing bingo is enjoyment – winning money comes in fifth.






• It is believed that our current day bingo originated from an Italian Lottery called Lo Giuoco del Lotto d’Italia in 1530.






• A toy salesman
Edwin S. Lowe
brought bingo to the masses with “Lowe’s Bingo.” The game saved his newly-founded toy company
the E.S. Lowe Company.






• Bingo debuted in 1930 and by 1934 there were an estimated 10
000 bingo games a week in churches and recreation centers across the country.






• According to Lowe
the largest bingo game in history was playe
d in New York’s Teaneck Armory with 60
000 players – with 10
000 being turned away at the door.






• University of Columbia mathematics professor Carl Leffler is reported to have gone insane after coming up with 6
000 bingo cards with non-repeating number groups.






• There are 1
200 unique bingo cards possible.






• The first bingo game to raise money was played at a church in Wilkes-Barre




Bingo Glossary






• Blackout – (Also
Coverall) A pattern where you must cover the whole card to win.




• Bonanza – A progressive coverall jackpot that is usually played as the 13th game of the session. Forty-five numbers are drawn before the session and players mark them on separate cards and set aside. There is an additional fee to play this game
usually $1. The countdown begins at 48 numbers or less and go up one number per week to 52 numbers or until won. The amount of the jackpot is determined by card sales for that game.




• Caller – The person who calls out the bingo numbers.




• Chat Room – A handy monitor or screen where you can read and exchange messages with other players.




• Coverall – (Also Blackout) A pattern where you must cover the whole card to win.




• Dauber – Bingo dauber is ink-filled bottle/pen with a foam tip on it used to mark called numbers. When you touch the bingo card with the foam tip it marks the square. (See picture above)




• Early Bird Game – A bingo game that starts earlier than another regularly scheduled game.




• Free Space – The center square of the card. It’s like a Joker. You get it free every game and it counts towards your winning pattern.




• Game Board – The display board above your card(s) that shows you the balls in play.




• Game Room – Some online games divide the players into game rooms.




• G.T.I.
T.E.D. – An electronic dauber system used to play multiple packs at once. These usually require a rental fee and only one is allowed per player.




• Hardway Bingo (Hard-way Bingo) – Bingo in a straight line without the use of the free space.




• Jackpot – A big prize usually awarded for achieving a difficult pattern
such as a blackout
within a specified number of balls.




• Minimum Buy-in – The least amount you must spend to be eligible for prizes.




• Money Ball – A number drawn before the game that will double a player’s winnings if bingo is hit on that number.




• Pattern – The shape you need to cover on your card with called out numbers
usually it is a straight line.




• Progressive Jackpot – A Jackpot that gets bigger until it is won. There is usually a separate buy-in for Progressive Jackpot games.




• Rainbow Pack – A paper pack that allows players to play for three or four different prize denominations at once.




• Six-pack
Nine-pack – Six or nine numbers in a block on one card.




• T.E.D.
G.T.I. – An electronic dauber system used to play multiple packs at once. These usually require a rental fee and only one is allowed per player.




• Validation – Eligibility required to win additional jackpot amounts. Price varies by number of cards played.




• Wild Number – Usually played on a double bingo that leads into a triple bingo. The first number out of the hopper determines the wild number; for example
if 42 is drawn
all numbers ending in 2 should be marked off.



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