Bingo Has Now Broken the Age Barrier

While Bingo gained its popularity in the U.S. early in the 20th century, its origin was traced back to the year 1530. The game was first introduced in Italy by a government run lottery named "Lo Gioco del Lotto d-Italia". It was first played in France in 1700s. A type of game was played using a card with three rows and nine columns, with each row having four free spaces.

Wooden chips numbered 1 to 90 were picked out from a bag by the game caller. A winner is declared when a player covered one entire row of the card. Soon this bingo game that resembles a lottery became so popular in Europe.

A New York toy salesman Edwin Lowe first introduced the Bingo version that we all know today. In a carnival fare in Atlanta, Georgia, he watched a game played by the locals which they called "Beano". It was so because the participants of the game use as marker died bean seeds to cover their cards when a number was called. When a particular line of numbers is completed by a player, he/she would yell "Beano" and the game would stop. The winning player would receive a small prize.

Edwin Lowe observed that players were fascinated by the card game. He too was so captivated by this ingenious game that Lowe brought the game back home and shared it to several of his buddies. In one of the games, a woman became so thrilled by her win called out "Bingo" rather than the usual "Beano".

And with that incident, bingo was born. Edwin Lowe's Bingo games became so popular in the United States during the mid '30s. Social clubs and churches saw the game as a potential fund-raising activity.

Currently, 48 states and over 100 American Indian Reservations present official bingo game on some level. Games can be played from an undersized activity enough to accommodate a church basement to a full-size tournament that can fill in a 1,800-seat hall.

People from different walks of life come to bingo activities not only to experience the fun in playing the game but also to socialize. Ti is one way to meet new acquaintances and strengthen relationship with family members. The average bongo player is 45 years old but young people discovered the game as way to socialize. Men and women enjoy playing the game with or without their love ones. Big malls offer a daily bingo bonanza that give big prizes to lure, more players. And with the advent of online bingo, the game reaches another milestone in its popularity.