For avid historians who want to know about the history of bingo, records of its origin date as far back as the 15th century in Italy; despite being popularised in the United States of America.
With its roots traceable to an Italian lottery called Lo Giuoco del Lotto D’Italia which is still played today, bingo was gradually introduced to other countries over the next years such as France in the late 1770s where it was known as Le Lotto, played by aristocrats in France.
In Germany, there was also a variation of the bingo game which was played in the 1800s but was utilized for academic purposes, and used for teaching children math, history and spelling.
In the United States, the game bingo was initially referred to as beano by American Indians in the 1900s. The beano was a country fair game where a dealer made a selection of a number of discs from a cigar box and players would mark their various cards with beans and if these players won, they’ll yell BEANO!
Unlike what is applicable today, in the past, bingo balls were not used. Rather, wooden tiles or squares were utilised which was placed into bags. The person who administered the game had to draw the tiles or squares one by one and announced the number which is quite different from what is applicable today.
Who is Hugh Ward in Bingo History?
For players interested in Bingo History, the name Hugh Ward is one which has to be known. Hugh Ward is important in bingo history because the first set of standardised rules used in bingo was introduced by Hugh Ward in the 1920s and the rule book was written for this in the 1933.
Who is Edward Lowe in Bingo History?
Another influential figure in bingo history is Edward Lowe. Edward Lowe came across the beano game in 1929 in the State of Georgia, and decided to take this game to the State of New York where it grew in popularity. Lowe decided to make a design of the bingo game in two different versions, and did this in collaboration with a Columbia University math teacher – Carl Leffler – who assisted in the design of bingo cards. The first designed cards were sold by Lowe, and 12 cards were sold for $1 and 24 cards for $2.
History of Bingo – Church Bingo
With the impact of the bingo, it has influenced both the church and also how it has recently developed online.
With Church Bingo, a priest from the State of Pennsylvania decided to meet with Lowe about using bingo to raise funds for the church. As it was introduced to the church, its popularity soared and by 1934, over 9,000 games were played every week. Despite gambling being banned in many states, it was allowed in churches as means of fund raising.
Despite conflicting stories which exist with regards the name beano or bingo, the roles played by Ward and Lowe cannot be overemphasised in the history of bingo, and how instrumental they were in its development.