Bingo History

The history of bingo goes back to 1530 when Italy launched the game as a lottery. The game spread to France in the late 1770's, where it was played by the upper class. The popularity of the game increased across Europe and Germany played a version of the game and used it to educate students in various subjects.

The game made its way to America via a carnival pitchman who was traveling in Germany. He made some changes to the game, renamed it "Beano," then promoted it as a carnival tent game. He was working at the carnival one night in 1929 near Atlanta when a traveling toy salesman named Edwin S. Lowe came by. Early for a sales call, Lowe decided to stop in at the carnival. The only tent that was open was the Beano tent, which was so crowded that Lowe wasn't able to actually play the game. But Lowe noticed how excited the crowd was and realized he could make money from the game. After returning back home to New York, he created his own Beano game and invited friends to his apartment to play the game. During the game, one of the players had accidently yelled out "Bingo" and the name stuck.

It was a priest from Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania who began to promote playing bingo in churches. His church was having financial trouble and one of the members came up with the idea of using Bingo as a way to raise money. But with only 24 unique cards to play the game with, there ended up being too many winners for each game. So the priest contacted Lowe about producing a larger number of unique number combinations for the cards. Lowe enlisted the help of a professor of mathematics at Columbia University named Carl Leffler and the resulting increased number of bingo cards allowed the game to grow further in popularity.


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Bingo History

HPG ADMIN on February 27, 2013