Thursday, December 24, 2009


BINGO! This bingo chip was mixed in with the oodles of modern artifacts that were found in Stratum 2 of Unit 83, the unit excavated inside the Swann House foundation. In light of this find, we thought it would be appropriate to delve into the history of the game.

Believe it or not, the Bingo we all know and love was actually originally called Beano, a game that was played in county fairs across the United States. This name was appropriate, as a dealer would pull numbered cards from a box, shout out the letter and number, and the players would mark their cards with beans. There are even earlier versions of this lottery-type game (as far back as 1530!) that were played in Italy, Germany, and France. It was only in 1929 that the game reached the United States, and, as the story goes, the name was changed to Bingo after a New York toy salesman named Edwin Lowe heard someone accidentally shout "bingo" instead of "beano." This fine fellow then went on to create over 6,000 bingo cards (each with a different combination of numbers) is said that he then went insane. Honestly, I am not too surprised!

Before long, the game was played in churches as a means of raising money. From there, it quickly branched out to other venues, though from personal experience I know it still is a prominent part of county fair. Presently, an estimated 90 million dollars are spent on Bingo every week in North American that's a lot of Bingo!


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