Over the years bingo has had many names and several different versions have been created. Starting in Italy in 1530, bingo has stood the test of time and has been modified for each time and location.
Adapted from Europe, bingo quickly developed as a popular carnival game in America during the 1900s. Enjoyed by attendees from across the world bingo has been played ever since, but how was it first created?
The First Game of Bingo
The game of bingo first began as a form of the national lottery in Italy during 1530. Called ‘Lo Giuoco Lotto Italia’ the game would appear each week, similar to the Saturday night Lotto we know today, and formed quite a following.
The basic principle of the game was that players would buy cards with a row of numbers and the winner would be the first to match them. Using a sack, the numbers were pulled out and revealed the winners and losers of the game.
By the 1700s bingo had become extremely popular and started to spread to other countries. First it was taken to France where it was known as ‘Le Lotto’, however, the French version changed the game slightly by adding more numbers. This was the beginning of the 90 ball bingo and quickly gained attraction around the rest of the world.
During the 1800s the game caught the attention of both the UK and Germany. In Germany bingo was used as a teaching tool in schools, whereas the UK continued to play it as a recreational game.
The UK didn’t change the French version of the game, but they did introduce bingo lingo for the first time. Made up of cockney rhymes and slang, bingo lingo is the name given to the famous bingo calls and was based on historical references. For example, number 9 was called doctor’s orders, which was named after the pill doctors gave to soldiers during World War II.
Fast forward a century and bingo had made its way over to America where it was now called beano. Developed as a popular carnival game, this is the reason it eventually ended up with the name bingo as a man called Edwin Lowe overheard a player scream bingo accidentally. He thought that bingo was the games name and created his own version, which he introduced to his friends.
Edwin’s game received interest and when he started selling his initial product, he soon ran into some difficulties. People were winning too easily, so Edwin decided he needed to add more numbered squares. As he wanted the game to expand across thousands, he knew the game needed work and started looking for a business partner who could help with the game play.
Eventually Edwin met a maths professor called Carl Leffler, who had the skills he was looking for. Currently teaching at the University of Columbia, he agreed to help with the game and the two looked into all the mathematical possibilities. Finally they came up with a total of 6000 different bingo cards and the game quickly received interest from churches. The churches used bingo as a way of raising money and became so popular that it quickly went mainstream.
Bingo is now one of the most popular games in the world and millions of people play every day. This is because it is a simple game to follow and can be played by anyone anywhere. Adapting to the modern world easily, bingo is now available both online and offline, which has kept the game going.
For many playing bingo at weekends is a tradition and like to attend the bingo halls across the country. Offering a professional caller, a range of prizes and entertainment, bingo halls give players a fun night out and are still popular even though the online market is booming.
Additionally, online bingo has a huge following and even thought it was only created in the 1990s, since then thousands of different sites have been created. Websites, such as Paddy Power offer a huge range of games and multiple prizes. This is appealing as the games can be played through mobile sites and apps ensuring you can login wherever you go.
Since the game has been around for centuries, over the years it has cleaned up some pretty amazing records. From a huge amount of attendees to the highest game ever played, here are some of bingo’s greatest achievements:
- In 2006, the largest ever game of bingo was played in Bogota, Colombia. 70,080 people showed up to the play and £250,000 was paid out in prizes.
- The highest game of bingo was played on Mont Everest, by Coral Gala employees in 2009. 17,500ft above sea level, 24 Coral Gala employees climbed to up the mountain and stopped for a game of bingo.
- The largest ever online game of Bingo was held in Tokyo, Japan when a record breaking 493,824 played the game.
- The record for the largest balls was set in 2014, when Coronation Street used 60 cm balls to raise awareness for male cancer.
Are you tempted to take part in a new world record attempt by playing the fantastic game of bingo? Why not check out www.guinnessworldrecords.com and see if there are any happening near you soon.