History of Bingo

The origins of bingo lay in the 16th century Italian game of ‘Lo Giuoco del Lotto d’Italia’ with the French adding playing cards, tokens and reading out numbers to the game 200 years later. The Germans took the game to a whole new level in the 19th century when they used bingo in schools to teach spelling and the times tables.

Image In 1929 an American, Edwin Lowe was visiting a travelling carnival and noticed the children playing a game called Beano with dried beans, rubber stamps and cardboards sheets.

He instantly took a liking to the game and took it back to New York where he introduced the game to his friends and by the 1940’s Bingo games were taking place all over the country.

Edwin Lowe is credited with coining the word ‘Bingo’ and he could have trademarked it and made a fortune but he realised that similar games had been played for years so he decided to ask his competitors to pay him a dollar a year for using the name and consequently the popular game bingo was born.

Bingo is traditionally played in bingo halls and social venues but over the past decade with the growth of the internet online bingo has become a popular craze, especially with ladies in their twenties. One of the earliest online bingo games was ‘Bingo Zone’ launched in 1996 which was free to play unlike many popular sites today, as members had to enter their location and thus would receive regional advertisements.

At the beginning of the twentieth first century bingo continues to be a popular pastime in both the real and virtual worlds with no sign of the jackpot drying up anytime soon.