The Origins of Bingo

Bingo Origins

When you think of bingo you’ll generally think of a classic British pastime. One that we associate with towns and seaside resorts across the country.

Today it’s perhaps even more associated with online play, but it does have much more humble origins.

Like many of the most popular games to play, bingo has a long history that in fact dates back hundreds of years.

The Origins of Bingo

Bingo is a game that goes back around 500 years and dates back to 1530 and the nation of Italy.

It started life as a lottery called the Il Gioco del Lotto d’Italia and over the next few centuries spread across Europe.

Next stop was France, where it became a favourite with the aristocracy, a game known as Le Lotto. From there it eventually landed on British soil.

By the mid-1700s it started to evolve into the game we know and love. It was at this point that bingo began to hit the mainstream, being played in many industrial British towns across the 1800s and early 1900s. By 1930, bingo had developed its name.

How Bingo Got Its Name

It’s believed that bingo originally got its name back in 1929 and rather from the UK, it came from the USA.

It’s believed the name we know comes from Pittsburgh and a certain man named Edwin S Lowe. The story goes that he was playing a game in Georgia known as “Beano” but rather than shouting it when he won, he shouted, “bingo”, and so the game goes!

The inspiration of the game eventually led to Lowe releasing Yahtzee.

The Introduction of Bingo Cards

As bingo began to gain in popularity, the cards in which they were played on developed more into what we know today.

Of course, gaming cards have been around in some form since the very beginning but it was Lowe who helped develop the cards and they have stayed relatively similar ever since.

90-ball bingo cards are certainly the most popular and traditional, and revolve around a 9×3 grid with five numbers across each row. That hasn’t changed and even today that is still the case.

Online Bingo: A New Dawn

Of course, the origins of bingo has moved on tremendously and today online bingo is worth much more than offline gaming in halls across the UK. It’s been an industry that has grown hugely over the last few years.

The game of bingo is now enjoying a new lease of life as it strays even further from its origins, with new variants and bigger jackpots than ever.

It will be interesting to see which way bingo goes next in a long and exciting story and in the very near future more chapters will certainly be added as technology and an uncertain climate continue to play a big part in its history.

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