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The History of Bingo – Part One

  • 29 Mar 08
  • Written by

history of bingoWe all know how much we love the game of bingo (after all why
would you be here if you didn't) so we thought you'd like to know
how bingo came about. No matter which version of events you believe,
there's no doubt that the inventor of a simple game of chance such
as bingo couldn't have imagined how big bingo was going to be in the
future and how many people he would bring joy to over time. Never mind,
we're glad he did!

ere's the Bingo Hideout tribute
to the beginnings of bingo.

From Italy…

The origins or our favourite game go right back as 16th
century Italy where the ‘Lo Giuoco del Lotto D'Italia’
was immensely popular, despite the Catholic churches disapproval of
gambling. The Lotto game managed to avoid the scathing influence of
the Church due to its random aspect.

Ever since the introduction of this game in Italy
it has been state owned and generates huge revenues even today. Drawn
for a national audience on a Saturday, this original version of the
game has endured over the many changes the game has since embraced.

…to France…

It is said that the game was taken next to France during
the 1800's where the influential nobility would enjoy a round
of 'Le Lotto'. This game involved players winning by simply
covering horizontal rows. Chips were used to cover numbers upon the
card, which holds the basis of the 90-ball game we know and love today.

…to Germany…

From here the popularity of the game that would
eventually be named 'Bingo' travelled across Europe to
Germany where its popularity quickly spread. The game became even
more popular once it was employed as a children's mathematical
educational tool. Although this was relatively short lived, this
foundation cemented the game in the minds of whole new generations
who would later come to love it all its different forms.

… to Britain!

1929 is the year that Edwin S Lowe encountered the game
Beano and realised its popularity was a huge opportunity. Played with
beans rather than chips as before or balls as we recognise it, Beano
introduced vertical and diagonal patterns to the game. Once again the
game had avoided bad connotations due to its social and random
foundations and as a result was popular with those of strong religious

Lowe changed the name of the game and brought in
the services of mathematician of Carl Leffer to generate increasing
numbers of cards. Leffer managed to produce as many as 6,000 cards for
every game with only one winner, but it would seem that the pressure was
too much for one man and he became ill as a result. When we consider the
random number generators that are the force behind the modern game, this
comes as no surprise!

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