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How the game of bingo was invented from the Italian lottery and an American game called Beano to be played in churches and then worldwide. Includes the number of bingo card combinations and how bingo got its name:
Bingo history has been traced back several centuries. The earliest bingo game was not in the form we play in modern times but still had recognisable features. It was played in Italy in the early 16th Century and dates back to 1530. It was a lottery type game called Lo Giuoco del Lotto D'Italia. It is still played each Saturday by Italians as a State run lottery.
Over 200 years later, in the 1770s, the game found its way to France where the French called it Le Lotto. It was mostly played by the rich and was adapted to include tokens, playing cards as well as numbers.
The game soon reached Germany where in the 1800s the Germans used it to teach children mathematics, history and spelling.
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From Germany the game reached the United States of America where it was adapted and given the name Beano. This new era of bingo history can be traced back to being played in 1929.
The Origins Of Beano Bingo Game
The earliest recorded play of the bingo game beano was in a carnival near Atlanta, Georgia. A dealer from the carnival would take out numbered discs from a cigar box and players would mark off any matched numbers with a bean. If they matched off all their numbers they won and would announce this by shouting Beano!
How Bingo Got Its Name
A toy salesman from New York called Edwin S. Lowe saw the game being played and thought he heard someone call the game bingo rather than beano. The name bingo was born and this was the origins of the game bingo.
Other sources state that Edwin S. Lowe copied the beano game at home and played it at a party. One of his guests who was so excited at winning, stuttered, and could not shout out beano and instead shouted b b b bbingo!
Bingo Card Combinations
From this carnival Edwin S. Lowe enlisted the help of a maths Professor from Columbia University called Carl Leffler to create bingo cards with many different number combinations. It took Carl Leffler a year to invent 6000 different bingo cards. It is estimated that there are over 552,446,474,061,129,000,000,000,000 possible bingo card combinations. Rumour has it that working on these bingo card combinations sent the mathematician Carl Leffler mad.
Bingo And The Church
In Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania a Catholic priest asked Edwin S. Lowe if he could use the game with his congregation to help raise funds for the church. The popularity of the game spread amongst the church community and by 1934 it was estimated that about 10,000 bingo games were being played each week. Bingo was soon being played at parties, in houses and by families. As the popularity spread businessmen soon saw the earning potential and bingo halls started to appear in towns and cities.
Though games still exist with the traditional cardboard bingo sheets and marked pens those in bingo halls have become electronic. The bingo craze has progressed and there are now many online internet bingo websites.
Other Names For Bingo
The other names for Bingo include Housey Housey and Beano.
Guide to bingo abbreviations, word and phrases.
Guide to playing online bingo.
More bingo and games trivia questions.
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