BINGO’S BIRTHDAY MONTH
Bingo’s Birthday Month is an annual designation observed in December. You know the game that you probably loved playing with your grandparents and other family members growing up? Well, now’s its birthday Month! (Wouldn’t it be nice if we all got to celebrate our birthdays all month? Maybe we should start.) Play Bingo with friends and family at holiday parties to get everyone involved in the game that will bring you back to your childhood days.
Bingo is a popular game of chance often played for cash or prizes. The players are given a “bingo card” with a pattern of random numbers and one player reads out a series of randomly drawn numbers. The object is to be the first to complete a specific pattern (such as “five in a row”). The winner calls out “Bingo!” and collects their prize.
The game began in Italy in 1530 as “LoGiuoco del Lotto D’Italia,” and is still played there today, almost every Saturday. The French adopted the game in the 1770s as “Le Lotto.” Germany put an academic spin on the pastime a century later turning it into an educational game for children, tying in lessons on various subjects.
Bingo arrived in North America in 1929, where it was first called “beano.” Edwin Lowe, a New York salesman, modernized the game by hiring mathematician Carl Leffler, who developed thousands of combinations of numbered game cards. Lowe reportedly changed the name to “Bingo” when a winner shouted the word one day by mistake.
A Catholic priest approached Lowe in the thirties about using Bingo as a church fundraiser, thus kicking off the decades-long association of the game with the American Catholic community. The game is also popular in casinos, though casino Bingo has declined in many areas due to rising taxes, smoking bans, and the rise of online gaming.
And here’s a fun fact for you: Edwin Lowe, the man who modernized Bingo, also invented Yahtzee!
HOW TO OBSERVE #BingosBirthdayMonth
Play a game or two of Bingo and use #BingosBirthdayMonth to post on social media. Dig out your old game of Bingo, go buy a new one, or even make one at home! Get posting so others are inspired to play, too.
You can also learn more about the games you play by reading 7 Stories Behind Our Favorite Games.
NATIONAL BINGO’S BIRTHDAY MONTH HISTORY
We were unable to identify the founder of Bingo’s Birthday Month – though the reason for the celebration is obvious.
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