altQuite often there can be nothing more relaxing than putting your feet up after a long day at work accompanied by a glass of wine and a great game of bingo! Gone are the days where you had to leave the house and go to your local bingo hall, you can now do it from the comfort of your own home. You can enjoy huge jackpots, free cash to play with and endless games. Before bingo reached your laptops, and even went global, where did it all begin?

An Italians game

Some of you may be surprised to discover that your bellowed game of bingo came from humble beginnings in Italy. All the way back in 1530 the Italian played a lottery called "Lo Giuoco del Lotto D'Italia," which is actually still played every Saturday in Italy to this day. In the late 1770s the game was introduced to France and they renamed it “Le Lotto” but it was a game only played by wealthy Frenchmen.

Breaking America

In 1929 the game finally crossed the sea and reached America. It then became known as “Beano”. It was first played in Atlanta, Georgia at the carnival. Shortly after it then inherited its famous name ‘Bingo” from New York toy salesman Edwin S. Lowe. He called it Bingo because he accidentally heard someone yell what he thought sounded like “Bingo”. Edwin then paired up with a maths professor from the University of Columbia to help him increase the number combinations of the bingo cards. By 1930, due to inventing over 6,000 different bingo cards it is said the Edwin the maths professor actually went insane – which isn’t surprising!

God’s game?

Edwin was approached by a Catholic priest from Pennsylvania as he wanted to use the game of bingo in his church to raise funds. When bingo began to be played in churches it became extremely popular. By 1934 it was estimates that a massive 10.000 bingo games were being played each week and today in Great Britain it is a multi million-dollar empire.

Interesting facts about your favourite game:

* You can play bingo-using sets of 90,85 or 75 numbers. The national bingo game is played using a set of 90 numbers.

* The biggest bingo win ever happened on 23 March 2008, when the lucky Soraya Lowell from Motherwell, North Lanarkshire scooped a massive GBP £1,167,795, while playing The National Game at Club 3000 in Coatbridge.

* A number of celebrities began their careers in bingo calling. Some of these include Russell Crowe and Kian from Westlife.