|If you’re a fan of little bits of trivia, or a fan of bingo, or both, you might be interested in learning a little bit about the origins of bingo and its evolution into the games we know today. This article takes a look at important events in bingo history, purely for your entertainment.
|The origins of bingo. Bingo can be traced to Italy, where it began in the 16th century. The date given for the first ever bingo game is sometime in the 1530s, played in a weekly Italian tournament called “Lo Giuocu del Lotto del D’Italia”. This game is still played every Saturday in Italy. The first bingo game was the 90 ball variety instead of the 75 ball variety we play in North America.
The game was eventually picked up by the French, who perhaps believed that the name gave a little too much glamour to the actual game because they shortened it to “Le Lotto”. It was widely played among wealthy Frenchman from 1779 onward.
The Germans take Le Lotto to a whole new level. The educational potential of bingo was first realized by teachers in Germany, who began using the game to teach children basic concepts in math, spelling and history. By this point in bingo history, the game had spread throughout most of continental Europe.
Bingo comes to North America. Bingo didn’t take root in North America until the early 20th century. It was commonly played at county fairs across the United States, and the first known game was played at a carnival in Atlanta in 1929. Beans were used as markers in the early stages, and so the game was known as Beano. This changed in New York when someone playing the game yelled “Bingo” instead of “Beano” and was overheard by a toy salesman. Edwin Lowe heard the accident, developed the game as a toy with the new phrase, and the phenomenon was born.
An important part of bingo history is the game’s continued role as a fundraiser for many different organizations, including churches and charities. An interesting piece of bingo trivia is that the game first gained widespread popularity after it began to be played in churches. Today, the game is played in casinos, churches, bingo halls, at schools, and online. The simplicity and the social aspect of bingo mean that it will always be a popular game all over the world.