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The History of Bingo Games

Bingo games are one of the simplest and enjoyable games out there. This is even considered to be a gambling event that can be played by anyone. If you watch a lot of movies you may see that kids and the elderly even enjoy playing this game.

But where did this fun bingo game originate? This article will discuss the history of the bingo game.

Bingo games begun during the unification of Italy in 1530. The unification of Italy also brought about the bingo game's first ever ancestor, the Italian lottery or Lo Giuoco del Lotto d'Italia. The original version the bingo game is still being played today.

Then the game found its way to France in 1778. The lottery took the form of cards that have been divided into 9 vertical columns and three horizontal rows. The columns could contain 10 numbers. The first column had numbers 1-10, the 2nd column had 11-20 and so on. There were numbers 1-90 that were printed on wooden chips and placed inside a bag. Chips would then be drawn out one by one until a player would be able to cover one horizontal row. The game became highly popular in Europe in the 1800's.

The bingo games came to America thanks to a carnival pitchman touring Germany. The variation of bingo in Germany was used mainly as a child's game to teach math, history and spelling. The pitchman then realized the game's potential to be a great carnival game.

The pitchman altered the game to make players win diagonally, horizontally or vertically. Players would then cover the numbers that have come out with beans. Hence they called it Beano.

In 1929, a traveling toy salesman named Edward S. Lowe, stopped by at the carnival in Atlanta Georgia. Lowe saw the great number of crowds playing and even more standing around that were not able to play just waiting their turn. People and players seemed so excited as they were also anticipating the word "Beano" to be shouted out by the winner.

When Lowe returned to New York he created his version of the game because he saw how marketable it was. He invited some friends to play over and the same excitement followed. The name "Bingo" was then used when one of his friends who had stammered shouted "B-b-Bingo!" instead of "Beano".

Then a priest from Pennsylvania saw the potential of the game to raise funds. During the early years of the bingo game it had only 24 unique cards. The priest then asked Lowe to make a large number of combinations. It was finally done with the help of a mathematician named Carl Lefler. There are rumors that Lefler went insane after creating all the combinations for the modern bingo game.

It was estimated that 10,000 bingo games were being played weekly in 1934. Today it is said that 90 million dollars are spent each week to play bingo in North America alone. The popularity of bingo game will only rise further because of the Internet.


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