Bingo History

Bingo History

Bingo’s Italian Ancestry

It is widely believed that the roots of bingo lie in Italy in a game called lotto. The first signs of bingo are in a lottery game that was played in Italy in 1530. This lottery game was named ‘Lo Giuoco del Lotto D’Italia’ and is still played in Italy on Saturdays.

Bingo Spreads through Europe

From its Italian beginnings, the game spread to France towards the end of the 1770s. This became an attractive pursuit among the French nobility and it was known as ‘le lotto’. During the nineteenth century, a variation of bingo was played Germany, where it was used mainly as an educational tool for children.

Lowe and His Part in Bingo History

This lottery game was introduced to American as beano and started off as a form of entertainment at carnivals. Edwin S. Lowe was a toy salesman who first spotted the beano game at a carnival and due to the great excitement of the participants noted the game’s potential. He then created his own beano game. The name beano apparently turned into bingo, when an excited winner of the game shouted out bingo by mistake. This amusing error transformed the pursuit into bingo, a name which does have a certain ring to it. (Note; Online Gambling is illegal in the US)

Bingo and the Church

In the 1930s a priest from Pennsylvania saw within the bingo game the opportunity to raise money for the church. At this time, the bingo game, fortunately for the players and unfortunately for the Church, produced too many winners. As there were too few variations of cards, there were not much funds raised for the Church. It is told that the same priest then contacted Edwin Lowe with the idea of creating a greater number of different cards for the game, therefore producing less winners. With the help of a University mathematics professor Carl Leffler, a large number of unique cards were invented.

It should be noted that bingo turned into a very popular form of entertainment and an attractive way of raising Church funds. Bingo became a very popular game and although it could be considered as a gambling pursuit, this game never seems to have the concept of sin attributed to it. Perhaps this is due to the bingo game’s traditional connection with the Church over the years. Over time bingo became a massively attractive pursuit, both for players and as a method of fund raising.

From the Bingo Halls to the Internet

At the start of the 21st century, the bingo game found its way to the wonderful arena of the World Wide Web. Although certain modifications had to be made in order to make bingo into a viable pursuit on the Internet, the basis of the game is the same bingo game loved by many. The online form of bingo attracted many new customers to the game that offers a convenient way to play without having to step out of the front door. Having progressed a long way from its ‘lotto’ days in Italy, online bingo is proving to be an attractive form of entertainment.