Bingo

Bingo

In 1778, the French had their own version of the lottery called Le Lotto. This led to the development of the classic game of Lotto. The game consisted of cards which were divided into three horizontal and approximately nine vertical rows. The horizontal rows had five numbered squares and four blank squares which were randomly arranged. The vertical rows had numbers 1 to 90 grouped on separate rows of the card. The cards were all unique. The game also consisted of chips numbered from 1 to 90. Each player received a single card. The caller would draw a number and call it out aloud. The players would then proceed to covering the numbers if they appeared on their card. A player needed to be the first to cover a horizontal row in order to be declared the winner.

During the 19th Century lotto games were used for educational purposes. In the 1850s, Germany designed a form of Lotto to teach children multiplication tables. These games had names like: Spelling Lotto, Animal Lotto and Historical Lotto.

In 1929 Germany saw the rise of a game called Beano. Beano was a variation of the Lotto. A caller would pull out a small number written on a wooden disk from a box and call the number out loud. The players would mark their cards by placing a bean on the number. Whenever a player filled a horizontal, vertical or diagonal line on the card he would shout "Beano!" and claim his prize. The game was later brought to New York by a man named Ed Lowe, who came across the game while traveling with a carnival in Germany.

Lowe made a few alterations in the original game on his return to the United States. He played the game in his apartment with friends and assumed the Caller's duties. During one of the sessions, a woman had one number left to win. It was called and instead of shouting Beano she shouted "BINGO!". Lowe renamed the game from Beano to Bingo. The game became an instant success!

This article uses material from the website bingobuzz.com "History of Bingo".


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