12th of December 2012 Author: Glo Wood
I know what you're thinking, oh not another article on the history of bingo. Not to worry because I'm not going to go off into details of 14th century Italy or playing bingo with beans aka Beano. No, this is about our own memories of bingo. All bingo players have a history with the game whether it involves wins, losses or your first memories of playing the game. Did grandma play or perhaps mom got you hooked on bingo? Maybe you discovered your love for the game completely by chance. Isn't that what gambling is all about, chance?
My bingo history begins with my mom and her wand and bowl of magnetic chips. I remember playing with the wand and being amazed at how the chips stuck to it forming one big mass. They were purple and reminded me of grapes. It wasn't long until the dabber replaced the chips and I was sitting alongside her as her bingo sidekick. We played 75 ball bingo which included coveralls of up to $500 or $1,000. The pull tabs were another addiction. The bingo hall employees walked around with them and we bought loads of them for $1 each. You could be lucky enough to have some instant win and the number on each one was entered into a big money raffle.
Bingo halls starting dying off in the US and I never thought we'd ever get to the point where we had to travel miles to play bingo. Luckily we were saved by the introduction of online bingo where the sky is the limit. Bingo was about a connection between family members more than it was about gambling. Some families sit around a table and play Monopoly or Scrabble while others, like mine, play bingo. Of course it was always a pleasure to win a bingo jackpot but the real jackpots are the memories that we carry with us.
Where did your bingo history begin?
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I have been wondering where I got the bingo bug for some time now. And I still haven't come up with an answer that satisfies me. I do remember watching bingo on TV, but just a vague memory. And I remember cardboard bingo cards and using pinto beans as markers. No daubers as you would always be re-using the bingo card.
There used to be a drive-in theatre in town and it was right behind the American Legion post. Any time we would go to the movies, there were cars overflowing the parking lot for the BINGO games at the American Legion. The drive-in is long gone, but the bingo games go on and on and on.
And as most things under the sun come and go, I see a resurgence of the televised bingo game. GSN has bingo. We had the National bingo night experience on ABC tv. In the UK there is "bingo on the box" with live coverage of your bingo game on SKY tv. It seems like being able to buy your cards and then watch the game on TV wherever you are might be catching on.
When I had my i-phone, I was extremely happy to find that I could purchase my bingo cards in my web browser without too much trouble. This freed me from the plug in the wall that was connected to my PC. Oh, the joy of being able to leave the house and still play my bingo!
And now with newer technology, you can find bingo on your phone all over the globe. In the US it is not as easy to find sites dedicated to android or i-use, but they are there. Someday soon hopefully when the laws are straightened out we will have more opportunities to take our bingo on-the-go.
I may not remember where I got that bingo bug, but I know where my grandkids are getting it! Bingo is something brand new and exciting to youngsters everywhere. And by incorporating the technological advances into the playing of bingo, new generations will be becoming avid players without the 'old people' stigma often associated with land bingo. But hey, the players may still have blue hair. Or green. Or mohawks, or even a shaved head or two. The more things change, the more they stay the same!
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