A History of Bingo - From Lotto to Beanie to Bingo

Italy was united in the 16th century and since then the Italian National Lottery was organized as a steady source of the government's budget. The concept of the so-called 'Lo Giuoco del Lotto d' Italia' then became the inspiration for the game of Bingo. But how did the history of Bingo broke up from the history of Lotto? Let's look deeper into the series of changing events.

From Italy, the history of Bingo started in France as the game captured the interest of the aristocrats. This is when the 'Le Lotto' first took the concept of forming a horizontal set of numbers in order to win - probably the first change in the history of Bingo, which set it apart from lottery. But then, Bingo was still called 'Lotto.'

As it popularized at county fairs and carnivals throughout the rest of Europe especially Germany, the game started to take the crankier name of 'Beano' during the time when players used beans to mark their numbers and then call out 'Beano' when they hit the winning figure. Soon after, in 1929, a traveling salesman in Germany, Edwin Lowe developed a fancy for the game and brought it to America. The history of "Bingo" then began from one endearing event when Ed Lowe was playing with his friends in New York. One of his lady-friends got so tensed and excited as she closed to winning. When she finally did, instead of shouting 'Beano,' she stuttered and said 'Bingo!' Elated, Ed Lowe stood up and swore to revolutionize the game in the name of 'Bingo.' Since then, Bingo became the generic name for the game especially after Lowe succeeded in convincing the spread of the game as he allowed his competitors to use the popular name of Bingo at the charge of $1 each year. Yet the expanding history of Bingo didn't end there.

In 1930's, Lowe, with the help of a Columbia University mathematician, added to the authenticity of the game by developing 6,000 unique combination cards to hold in more players. Lowe was said to have paid Carl Leffler up to $100 for each unique card, just enough for Leffler to finish the task - but at the expense of his sanity! The whacked effort paid though as the printing of Bingo cards equaled that of the New York Times. Lowe then published the first Bingo Instructions Manual, plus a monthly newsletter of the game's events called The Blotter. The rest, should I say, is MORE history.

In 1934, Bingo became a charitable game as a Pennsylvanian priest approached the help of Lowe to use Bingo to raise church funds. Word spread fast in the religious community. More are helped such as the Knights of Columbus Hall in New York.

It also helped governments, being formalized by a gaming act. The history of Bingo nationalized worldwide, and even virtual-wide - as it is today.

1
Close