12 Things You Probably Didn't Know About Bingo

We know… bingo is simple and there can’t be that much more to know about it other than when to shout “BINGO”, right? Wrong! Bingo is a gift that keeps on giving, and it deserves to be celebrated and taught to everyone! Here are 12 things that you probably didn’t know about the world’s favourite game of chance.

1 - The first ever game was recorded in Italy

Well, what would you know? The Italians are known for a lot more than some of the most delicious carbs gifted to humanity! All signs point to the fact that bingo was first played in Italy in 1530. The game was a part of the national lottery and known as Il Gioco del Lotto d'Italia.

Our habit of eating pizza while playing bingo online makes a lot more sense now...

2 - Bingo is surprisingly popular in many countries around the world

“You mean to tell me that bingo isn’t a UK national treasure and is actually played around the world?”

That’s exactly what we’re telling you. Shocking, we know! While bingo is near and dear to our British hearts, it’s actually played far and wide. America, Australia, India, Italy, Germany, Romania, Russia, Spain, Sweden, and even Japan are all part of our global bingo family! Although the Japanese mostly play it online because of their very intense gambling laws—where there’s a will, there’s a way!

3 - A game by any other name…

Bingo is kind of like that person you got introduced to after a couple of pints. No matter how hard you try, for the life of you, you can’t ever seem to remember their name. Thankfully you’re not the only one. People across the world seem to have the same problem with bingo. Here are some of the weird and wonderful things the game has been called:

  • Beano
  • Housie
  • Housey-housey
  • Lotto
  • Tombola

4 - Maths professor Carl Leffler created 6000 unique cards

Edwin Lowe may have come up with an excellent idea, but his maths wasn’t quite up to scratch. This is quite understandable, and takes us right back to that hellish sixth form maths class…. anyway, we digress!

Lowe’s version of bingo could have multiple winners. Now, we’re not sure about you, but sharing isn’t always caring in our opinion. Is bingo really bingo if there can be more than one grand prize winner?

To help him with his maths failings, Lowe then brought Carl Leffler on board, a mathematics professor at Columbia College, who clearly had a sharp mind and a lot of time on his hands. We can thank Carlo for the 6,000 unique cards American game hosts now use to ensure that there’s only one winner.

5 - The biggest offline game took place in Colombia

Colombia is famous for many things: its natural beauty, rich culture, Pablo Escobar, and of course… BINGO. It is also the home of The Guinness World Record for biggest real-life bingo game with 70,080 players! It was run by retail powerhouse Almacenes Éxito S.A., in the capital Bogotá on the 2nd of December 2006.

6 - The biggest online game took place in Japan

As Alphaville put it: “Things are easy when you’re big in Japan.” We’re pretty sure he is referring to a few things… BUT he was certainly right about bingo. Coca Cola Japan organised the biggest online game in the world in the Land of the Rising Sun. On the 3rd of September 2010, almost 500 000 people (493,824, to be exact) played in a single online game. Introverts unite!

7 - In-house wins don’t get bigger than this

On the 27th of January, 2008, Christine Bradfield popped down to the Castle Leisure Club in South Wales. She walked in for a couple of pints and her usual game of bingo, and she went to bed a millionaire. She didn’t change her name and move to the Bahamas like we would, but she did share her record-setting in-house winnings with her sister-in-law. Maybe nice guys (and gals) don’t always finish last after all!

8 - A record was set on Mount Everest

The highest-ever game (talking about mountains here) was played at over 5,300 metres above sea level. In 2009, 25 players decided that hiking over 120km up the side of Mount Everest wasn’t quite taxing enough and thought a spot of bingo would be ideal. It was all for a good cause and raised over £100,000 for the cancer charity, Sue Ryder Care. Just thinking about this makes us ecstatic about the advent of online bingo games!

9 - The largest bingo hall in the world can host 4,000 players

Some people go out to play bingo to get their social fix and they certainly would have gotten it at these two establishments! The first bingo hall with a capacity of 4,000 players is the Foxwoods Resort Casino in Connecticut. However, they were dethroned by Bingo USA in Alabama, which claimed to seat more than 4,000 players. Unfortunately, Bingo USA closed its doors towards the end of 2017.

10 - Online bingo is dominated by younger players and women

Bingo isn’t just for your Nan anymore! In fact, online players tend to be younger and there’s a whole lot more ladies than you’ll find in bingo clubs. Being able to play from the comfort of the couch with a glass of wine in hand might have something to do with these stats.

11 - Bingo is good for your brain

Julie Winstone was a researcher for the Centre for Visual Cognition at the Department of Psychology at the University of Southampton (phew!). In 2002 she did a study of the impact of bingo on players’ mental agility. Of a group that did play bingo and another that didn’t, those that played passed with flying colours.

So, bingo doesn’t just make you cool, it makes you smart too.

12 - Lucky Pants Bingo is a great bingo site

Surprise! A bonus fact in our list of cool things you didn’t know about bingo is that Lucky Pants Bingo is the place to play.

What makes Lucky Pants Bingo one of the best bingo sites? The list is endless… we could start with our good looks and wicked sense of humour, but we also have a pretty excellent customer service team, as well as great bonuses and promotions. You also have access to over 1,000 games, including free bingo games, slots, table games and Slingo bingo!

Check us out to see why we’re one of the best online bingo sites for yourself!

Lucky Pants Bingo / 25 August 2020