Origins of Bingo: A multi-faceted story

Origins of Bingo: A multi-faceted story

Bingo has to be one of the most popular games in the world. It is so easy to play, so much fun, and sometimes the prizes can be huge too – what’s not to love? It’s unlikely bingo will ever really go out of style, although it may change once in a while, like it changed when online bingo sites were invented. Playing online at means that even more people can enjoy the game than ever before, and it’s convenient and enjoyable for all. But what about the origins of bingo? Let’s look closer into how it all began. 

Where Did Bingo Begin?

In order to spot where the origins of bingo hail from, we have to go all the way back to 1530 in Italy. At that time, the game was a lottery, known as the Il Gioco del Lotto d’Italia. Towns and villages all came together to play the game – and others – each weekend. It was played on long tables, and anyone could join in whenever they wanted. This fun idea eventually spread across Europe, and by the 18th century the game was played in many different countries around the world. By 1778, it was considered to be the most popular game that involved gambling in France.

It was at this point that the game started using 90 balls, and became the game we know and love well in the UK. 

Where Does The Name Bingo Come From?

Although the game was initially called ‘beano’, and was named that by Edwin S. Lowe who was a toy manufacturer and who mass produced the game to be played at home. However, he was listening to a group of people playing the game and one of them became so excited that she called out ‘bingo!’ instead of ‘beano!’ Lowe felt a sense of elation at that point, and realised that this was actually what the game should have been called all along. He changed the packaging and advertising that went along with it, and the rest, as they say, was history. 

Online Bingo

Skip forward a few decades – almost 100 years, in fact – and we are now able to play bingo online, or even on mobile devices. However, despite the fact that we can use technology to enable us to play wherever and whenever we want, the game itself has not changed. Even if we choose to play games with fewer balls and games that require us to make patterns on our cards as well as capture every single number, the process of a caller picking out a ball, reading the number, and players frantically searching to see if they have it – automated or not – is still exactly how it is done, and how it will be done into the future.