Bingo History

While most people are avid bingo players, not so many of them are aware of the interesting history about this game that dates back to more than 500 years ago. Bingo origins can be traced way back to 1530 when it was called Lo Giuco de Lotto. Amazingly you might be surprised to know that Italy still holds this game every Saturday up to date. In the 1700s, Le Lotto then migrated to France where it was a similar form to modern day bingo with the playing card, numbers and tokens being read aloud.

The lottery kind of games then spread very fast all over Europe in the 1800s and numerous offshoots of this game were developed. A popular one is where the hand of the player was divided into 9 vertical rows and 3 horizontal ones. The caller in the game drew from a bag contain wooden chips that were numbered between 1 and 90. The main goal of this game was the winner to be the first one in covering completely one of the three horizontal rows. This game remained up to 1929 when a game by the name Beano was introduced.

The bingo tools for this game comprised of dried beans, some card board and some rubber stamp. The game was popularized by Edwin Lowe, a salesman selling toys in New York who renamed it to Bingo after an excited winner mistakenly yelled the name instead of Beano. The game became very popular and Lowe required competitors to make a $1 payment per year for them to use the word Bingo in their games. By 1940, Bingo had already sprung all over the nation and there were numerous games of this kind being played each week. Nowadays, Bingo games can be found nearly in every corner of the world but not many know exactly where the game evolved from.

History has it that Edwin Lowe, who is credited for pioneering Bingo, hired the professional services of an experienced match professor from Columbia University by the name Carl Leffler. The professor was required to expand number combinations possible in the game and he managed to devise 6000 different bingo cards without any number being repeated. History records that while he was able to successfully complete the task, he later became insane. Today, you might be surprised to know the number of possible unique bingo cards stands at 1, 474,200.