All for a bag of beans

  • 03 Apr 09
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Bingo on the Box

‘Bingo’ is officially 80 years old this year, or rather the name bingo is. The game dates back to as early as 1530 where it was played in the form of a lottery, and has seen many different variants since then.

Having been used as a means of education during the nineteenth century, the game of ‘Beano’ became increasingly popular in the 1920’s where in Atlanta in 1929 a young entrepreneur Ed Lowe was watching a game and liked it so much he resolved to take it to New York. It is said that while playing a game with friends using just beans, rubber stamp and card, the winner of the game was so excited he shouted ‘bingo’ instead of ‘beano’ and Lowe loved it immediately.

Sadly for Lowe he was unable to patent the name for the game but he always insisted that his competitors used what he considered to be its true name. Charging one dollar a time, when ever anyone wanted to host a game of bingo they would pay Lowe to use the name of this exciting and enthralling game, and so his fortune was made.

Technology has made it possible for any of us to play bingo across so many forms these days and the number of choices is growing by the day. From TV bingo such as that through Bingo on the Box to mobile bingo such as that hosted by Gone Bingo not to mention online bingo and newspaper bingo, you can be sure you’re not missing out on any important games of bingo anymore no matter what the time or where you are. It’s amazing to think of what Mr Lowe might have thought of the many developments that have happened to the game since he first christened it bingo; I wonder what he might have thought about the idea of playing a game on a computer with many others players all in real time and for huge amounts of cash for example – perhaps that he should have pushed harder for those patent rights no doubt!

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