Bingo originated in the United States around the year 1929 as a game called Beano and was played at county fairs. Callers drew numbers from a cigar box. Players were able to mark their playing cards by putting a bean over the number that was called. When they won, they would yell “beano!”.
However, the game did not originate in the United States. The earliest establishments of the game were found to be in Italy, around the year 1530. At this time, the game was called Lo Giuoco del Lotto D'Italia. From there, the game moved on to France around the 1770’s. In France, the game was played by those who were the most wealthy. When the game transferred to Germany, it was used for educational purposes.
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When making its way to the United States, the game became known as Bingo. This occurred when, at one particular county fair, a player yelled out “Bingo!” rather than the correct name for the time, “Beano!”. Still, the name caught on and the game was eventually marketed as Bingo.
It was Edwin Lowe who transformed the game of Beano into the marketable and widely popular game of Bingo. In order to develop the game more thoroughly, the assistance of Carl Leffler was inquired of. This worked to increase the capabilities of the game and more than 6,000 different cards were developed to use during the course of play. Bingo gained especially wide popularity when it began to be used by church halls as a way to increase funds for their parishes. In the year 1934, it was estimated that each week about 10,000 games were played. It is estimated that now, today, more than $90 million are spent on Bingo each week. This number is for the United States’ bingo players alone and does not include any other countries or their players.16 Mar2009