Bingo became famous in the United States during the early onset of the 20th century. The roots of the game, however, root back to the year of 1530. That was the year when a state-run lottery known as Lo Gioco del Lotto d’Italia began in Italy. It was in the 1700s where the French picked up the lotto. One version of it consisted of using a playing card with nine columns, three rows and four free spaces per row.
The callers of the game back then would call out numbers by reaching into a bag and randomly picking out wooden chips market with digits from 1 to 90 where1 to 10 was the first column, 11 to 20 the second and so forth. The winner was the first player to cover one whole row. It was only a matter of time before such lottery type bingo games became a craze all over Europe.
The game bingo as we know today was first popularized Edwin S. Lowe who was a struggling and enterprising salesman hailing from New York. Lowe had observed a game called Beano that caught his attention during a country carnival in Atlanta, Georgia. The game was called beano for a reason, as players would mark their numbers on their cards using dried beans. Whenever a player completed a line of figures, he or she would end the game by shouting the word beano. Upon doing so, the player would win a small reward as well.
Lowe had identified that the game was hit and started captivating the players. Lowe was so surprised and spellbound by the ravishing game that he bought back the new game home and introduced it to his friends. It was during one game where a woman ecstatic by her win, decided to beautifully misspell her cry as bingo instead of the traditionally accepted cry.
And just like that, the word and the common phrase, bingo was born. In the 1930s, Lowe’s bingo became a huge sweeping success and was sprouting all over the nation. It was promoted by all including churches and social clubs for their realization of its fundraising potentiality. Today over 48 states provide legal bingo on some scale. Bingo games present today, range anywhere from a small room or church basement to big enough to accommodate over 1800 seats in a large hall.