Here at SeniorAge Agency we host a weekly bingo event where participants come to play, socialize, and compete for a prize! It’s a fun game we launched late last year to help combat loneliness and isolation among seniors – but anyone can play. Many of you have played Bingo with your family growing up, in school, as an adult at the Bingo Hall, or maybe even at your local Senior Activity Center, but not many of us know the history or origin behind this fun, interactive game.

Bingo is generally played for either cash or prizes (no cash through SeniorAge, just fun prizes)!
Bingo games are won when a person completes a pattern on their Bingo card and yells out “Bingo!” There are a number of different patterns ranging from picture frames; letter Y, P or T; Martini glass; kite; railroad tracks; ladder; postage stamp; black out; speedball; and more. But lesson learned, NEVER call out a fake “BINGO” in an attempt to be funny – just don’t!

The game’s history can be traced back to 1530, from an Italian lottery called “Lo Giuco del Lotto D’Italia,” a game that is still played every Saturday in Italy. France and Germany both had new variations by the 1800s. The Germans would use the game to help young students learn math, spelling, and history. In the United States, Bingo was originally called “beano.” It began as a country fair game where a dealer would select numbered discs from a cigar box and players would mark their cards with beans. Instead of shouting out “Bingo,” players who won shouted out “Beano.”

A New York toy salesman named Edwin S. Lowe renamed it “Bingo” after he overheard someone accidently yell “Bingo” instead of “Beano.” Lowe was involved in the development of the game and his company produced 6,000 different Bingo card variations. He also developed the all-popular game of Yahtzee.

Today, Bingo is played world-wide, often in churches, casinos, schools, and retirement and nursing homes. But it’s definitely not just for seniors. SeniorAge invites you to tell a friend and join us each Wednesday for our on-line Bingo at 3:00 pm. Get your card and ZOOM link in the Let’s Get Social section of this blog site.

Sources: https://www.thoughtco.com/history-of-bingo-4077068

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