The History of Bingo
To tell the story of the ever so popular game of bingo we have to head back to Italy in the 16th century. At this time the Italian lottery, Lo Giuoco del Lotto d'Italia, was first played. Lo Giuoco del Lotto d'Italia, which literally means "The Clearance of The Lot of Italy", is the deeply traditional and very popular Italian lottery. Lo Giuoco del Lotto d'Italia is still played to this very day in Italy.
The Expansion of Bingo
Such a popular game was of course bound to hit the neighbouring markets in France and the rest of southern Europe where the game evolved and enhanced. In France the game now consisted of player cards with 3 rows and 9 columns. Each row contained a random string of numbers and blank squares. Numbers 1 to 90 was drawn or carved in wood pieces and put in a bag, after which the numbers were drawn from the bag and called out one by one until a winning player had covered a horizontal row on his card to much amusement to the players.
Before reaching America by the heavy immigration from Europe to the new World the game had in the 19th century spread out across all of Europe and every country soon had their national lottery with lots of participant from every layer of society.
Bingo in America
The game was presented to the Americans by a German traveler who realized that the game was also enjoyable as part of his traveling carnival. In the German version was played extended, so that we could win on both the vertical, horizontal and horizontal rows. In the absence of a playing cards where called out numbers could be marked with a pen or ink, the players back then marked their fields using beans, and the game was therefore given the name of Beano. The American market was hungry for entertaining and exciting games and the game of bingo - or Beano - was very well received amongst the citizens of the growing American cities.
Once the game reached New York it is told that a stuttering or at least very enthusiastic and surprised winner yelled out "Bingo" instead of beano, giving the game its current name of Bingo. In New York the game further evolved to a game almost similar to the bingo games played today at casinos and national lotteries and with the same bingo rules. The tradesman Edwin S. Lowe - the man who brought the game to the new yorkers - saw a great potential in this exciting game and enhanced it by adding 6.000 new and unique combinations to the game. It is said that the mathematician who developed these new combinations lost his mind in the process.
Eager to spread the game to every corner of the country the entrepreneurial tradesman even cooperated with the Church to make church bingo at bazaars and the likes, making the game acceptable even for the more religious part of the American community.
In 1934 it was estimated that 10,000 bingo games were played every single week of the year. The game of bingo was now a national scourge - yet a very popular one.
Since then, the popularity has certainly not diminished. It is presumed that the bingo industry every year has a massive 90 million dollar turnaround. And with the online gaming industry promoting the game further it is obvious that the game of bingo will only get bigger and bigger with even higher winning pots as a result!