VIA SBINSIDER GAME CRITIC GLORIA WOLF | August 23, 2023
More than 170 people attended the last Bingo night at HOA1, Monday August 21. We sat at a lucky table with two winners. Prizes from the 50/50 to a standard bingo prize can range from $30.00 to $500.00. Sets of game cards are priced at a dollar a game, ranging from a one game card to a nine-game card. On the next bingo night, it could be your lucky night.
The next bingo event is September 11th.
To participate, bring cash to buy your bingo cards, a highlighter to draw the bingo patterns on the cards, and a dauber to mark the called numbers. A light meal is served for which you can pay with your HOA membership card. It might be chicken salad, nachos, hot dogs, or other small treats. Non-alcoholic beverages are provided.
A lucky player won the grand prize of $500!
Many of us are familiar with bingo at local fairs, church events, and carnivals. By the year 1934, it was estimated that 10,000 bingo games were played weekly in North America. Churches and non-profit organizations used bingo as a fund-raising venture. Arizona has legalized bingo only for entertainment and non-profits.
The winner of the bingo game matches numbers on their card with numbers randomly drawn by the caller. The person who completes the pattern that matches the called numbers yells “Bingo.” One of the bingo helpers calls out the number on the card and the caller verifies the bingo. There is a lot of excitement during this part of the event, but most of the time, the room is at a nearly silent buzz while players listen intently for the called numbers.
Where did the game come from? The history of bingo can be traced back to an Italian lottery from 1530. In the 1700s the game was played in France. In the 1800s, the Germans played a similar version of the game. But the real advancement happened in America.
The first known game of bingo was played near Atlanta Georgia in 1929. At the time, the game was known as beano because you placed dried beans marking the called numbers on your card. When you completed the pattern, the player yelled “beano!”
According to the story, Edwin S. Lowe, a New York toy salesman heard someone accidentally yell “Bingo” instead of beano and with that new name, he expanded the game. He hired Carl Leffler to develop bingo cards so there would be a greater variety of non-repeating number groups and fewer conflicts if more than one person got a bingo at the same time. Carl Leffler was a professor of mathematics at Columbia University and used his skills to invent 6,000 different bingo cards.
Edwin S. Lowe also developed the game of Yahtzee. He later sold his company to Milton Bradley in 1973 for $26 million or about $180 million today. Because bingo is also played at casinos, it is estimated that more than $90 million dollars are spent on bingo each week in North America. Millions can be made if you focus on fun and games. Even though you won’t win millions playing bingo at HOA1, you might win a few dollars and have fun with your friends and neighbors.