Bingo in the Early Years

Millions of people love bingo. It's a game that's mainly used as a way to raise funds for both charity organizations and churches. Online bingo has also been gaining increasing popularity over the past decade. The game, in its various forms, has been around for over 500 years. The bingo we play today is a descendant of an Italian game called Lo Giuoco del Lotto d'Italia which was a national lottery organized in 1530 and has been held nearly every Saturday in Italy ever since. Over two hundred years after that, in the late 1700's, the French intelligentsia were introduced to the game and fell head over heels for it. In the French version the cards were divided into three horizontal and nine vertical rows with each horizontal row having five numbered and five blank squares.

The game reached Germany in the 1800's and was called “lotto”. The game was used primarily as an education tool to help students with math, spelling, and history. A traveling carnival worker came across the game in Germany and decided to make some alterations, mainly renaming it beano and bring it to America.

In 1930, a salesman from New York named Edwin S. Lowe was attending a carnival in Atlanta, Georgia when he came across a game of beano being held by the carnie from Germany. Lowe heard someone mistakenly yell “bingo” instead of “beano” and thought it was a game he could make some profit with. He took changed the name of the game to “bingo” and hired a math professor from Columbia University named Carl Leffer to increase the possible combinations on the card and thus modern bingo was born.

Lowe was later approached by a Catholic priest from Pennsylvania who wanted to use the game as a fund raiser for the church. As a result, the game's popularity soared and an estimated 10,000 games were played weekly by 1934. There are a number of variations of bingo which include U-Pick 'Em bingo, Quick Shot bingo, Bonanza bingo, table bingo, and bovine bingo.

If this has whetted your appetite for playing bingo for free with chance to win real money then why not give it a go. The modern online arena for playing still tries to make the game a lot of fun combined with a community feel via chat rooms.

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