Bingo in Today’s Age

Bingo was first introduced in North America from an Italian lottery. In 1929 Edwin S. Lowe, a New York toy salesman, came across the game being played at a county fair. The numbers were pulled from a cigar box and people used corn to cover the numbers on cards.

When you covered five numbers in a horizontal, vertical or diagonal line you yelled BEANO which would earn you a small prize. Edwin S. Lowe immediately understood the appeal of the game and went on to market and package it in two sizes. A $1 game got you 12 cards whereas the larger one, costing $2, had 24 game cards. The name of the game we all know came about during a game when a woman got so excited that instead of yelling beano, which was the name given to the game when it was first conceptualized, yelled “bingo” instead… So this was the new name given to the game; Bingo stuck! The game quickly spread across America when catholic priests started to replicate Lowe’s games, playing weekly bingo games to raise funds for the church.

A problem quickly arose when multiple winners started to call out Bingo because the cards in every box were the same. One priest contacted Lowe to see if he had a solution to the problem which led to the toy salesman come entrepreneur hiring Charles Leffler, a Columbia University professor, who went on to designed 6000 different card combinations before eventually going clinically insane.

There are many varieties of ways to win when playing bingo a game enjoyed as much these days by men as well as women. The appeal of Bingo is undoubtedly spreading. The once popular carnival game that was played with corn is now played with magnetic chips and wands, and also with specialist pens called daubers. The game once played on a cardboard game cards is now played using computers and on paper. Internet bingo has literally put Edwin Lowe’s creation into the homes of millions of people and the popularity of  internet bingo games show no signs of slowing.