Believe it or not, the history of Bingo doesn’t originate in the United States, as the earliest versions of the game can be traced all the way back to a game played in Italy as early as c. 1530 called Lo Giuoco del Lotto d'Italia The eighteenth century saw maturing of the game followed to France, in which cards, tokens, and reading out numbers were added elements of the game. In Germany within the 19th century, the game is recorded as a teaching game for children to learn spelling, animals, and even multiplication tables, a common use for the game in many classrooms within the U.S. today.
In 1929, Edwin Lowe happened to be present at a traveling Carnival located near Atlanta, Georgia, in which a game called Beano was being played. The game consisted of dried beans and a rubber stamp, with cardboard sheets used by the players. The game was a hit within these carnivals and fairs in the small towns of the U.S. and Lowe saw the excitement the game presented within the crowds. Winners would yell “Beano” when they had won, receiving a prize.
Enamored by the Bingo game, Lowe took it to New York, introducing the game to his friends. Conducting the games exactly as he had seen within the Carnival, the game was an instant hit, and the history of Bingo changed, it is said, when one of the players was so excited to win, he yelled “Bingo” instead of the game name “Beano”, making history and changing the name of the game forever.
Lowe began to conduct the game Bingo instead of Beano, offering two versions of the game. The first was a 12-card set game that cost with a 24-card set game played for . The game became wildly successful and possible and by the ‘40s, had reached across the entire United States, with Lowe only charging a year to conduct the game under the name “Bingo”.
The Game Evolving through Time
With time, the game became an instant success within churches and charity organizations. These are usually played to raise funds, and are conducted under federal regulation. The game is also played within several Bingo Halls that now have to apply for a specific license in order to conduct the game. The game has had a great history within small and large towns, providing a pastime for many people that wish to bet their odds on the game.