Here at BingoHideout, we usually stick to UK news stories, but this time, we couldn’t help but pick up on this tale from across the pond…Most of you will have heard of the World Series of Poker, but how about a World Series of Bingo? Fans of the game travelled in their droves to the town of Tecumseh, near Ontario in Canada in late November 2012, to dab their cards like crazy in the hope of winning a share of $100,000’s worth of prizes. Players came from as far afield as Ohio in the U.S.A. to the Classic Bingo III club, which is one of four halls operated and owned by the Community Gaming and Entertainment Group. The players had been battling it out in a series of qualifiers since August – much like a typical poker tournament – with entry costing just $1. All the winners during the following months earned themselves a ticket to the big event in November.
The Director of Operations at CSEG, Marty Carroll, told reporters that “Everything was free to all who qualified.” To even the playing field, players were not allowed to purchase additional cards, making “things fair and more fun for everybody.” The bingo hall chain also took the opportunity to raise funds for a local toy drive and area food banks, through promotion of the tournament during 2012.
In fact, the event proved so popular, that people went to great lengths to get their hands on an entry ticket. On sites such as Kijijii (a subsidiary of eBay, that’s similar to Gumtree) and eBay, many were selling or looking to buy tickets, whilst pledging to share 10% of their winnings.
One player, Wanda Lawson, only managed to grab a gift certificate worth $25, but her daughter, Candice, still says her mum was really lucky. Apparently, Wanda is well-known to both employees at the club and its members as she’s always winning full houses. The family are avid players, and have been attending the tournament for years. It seems there’s no stopping Wanda, who will shortly be turning 90, as she’s been playing bingo for over 40 years, and doesn’t plan to give up her favourite hobby any time soon, saying, “What else am I going to do at my age? I like the people, the caller’s antics, and the food.”
Five lucky players took home a share of the $25,000 jackpot at the end of what was an extremely exciting evening.
Would you like to see a World Series of Bingo here in the UK?