Bingo is a very old game indeed. Its origins have been traced all the way back to 16th century Italy, although the game played in those days bore little relation to the one we know and love today.
To get to that point, it had to be adopted by the French and then America, with different influences along the way bringing about the modern game. Bingo in 2022 is perhaps the most popular it has ever been – in both its bingo hall and online variants.
It is a game that appeals to young and old alike, but there is a lot they don’t know about it. Read on to learn some of the fascinating facts about bingo.
Interesting Facts about Bingo
Although bingo halls are still a pretty common sight, more people now play it online. That is partly because it is convenient, but also because there is a wider range of games, with fresh variants like penny bingo being added all the time.
That is a bingo format that lets you play all of the main types – 90 ball, 80 ball and 75 ball – by betting just one penny! Bingo halls are struggling to compete both with the range of games that online sites can offer, but also with amazing bonus offers like that.
It means that the long term future of the game is almost certainly going to be as a virtual experience. That is just a fact of life and here are the top five interesting bingo facts that you didn’t know.
- It wasn’t always called bingo
The name ‘bingo’ is very closely associated with the game now. After all, it is what you call out in a bingo hall if you are lucky enough to get a winning row of numbers.
Despite that though, it has not always been what the game was known as. Back in 1530 in Italy, where it originated, it was called Il Giuoco del Lotto d’Italia. After French aristocrats adopted it, they gave it the name Le Lotto.
By the time it arrived in the US during the 1920s, the name changed to Beano. By that stage the basic idea that players had to get a row of numbers to win had been established, but players put beans over them to conceal them – hence the name.
The name bingo is said to have been arrived at by accident. Edwin S. Lowe, a US businessman, was playing it with family and friends and one of them yelled out “bingo” by mistake in their excitement at winning.
- Your name can make a big difference
People have actually conducted studies to find out if there are odd factors that can improve your chances of winning at bingo. The results show that your name is one of them.
Statistically, you are most likely to win at bingo if your name is Margaret. Of course, if that is not your name, you can always try to find someone called Margaret and drag her along with you next time you play!
- Bingo is particularly popular in the UK
Although it has a following in most countries, people in the UK are genuinely bingo batty. An amazing 8% of its population plays the game and three million do so a minimum of two times each week.
Women are a bit more likely to be bingo players – 10% of them play compared with 5% of men – but people in the UK buy more bingo cards per year than they spend on their national sport of soccer. Another fascinating stat proving its UK popularity is the fact that nearly 50% of fans play bingo every day.
- It helps your brain power
Bingo is not just exciting and fun, it can also very good for your mental faculties. Research has proven that playing it will enhance mental processing speed, memory capacity and hand-eye coordination.
That makes it useful for anyone, but it can be particularly helpful for older people who are in the early stages of Alzheimer’s or dementia. So if anyone complains about the time you are spending playing bingo, point out that it is making you smarter!
- It has a younger customer base than people think
Most people still think of bingo as a game for older women, but that is out of date. These days around a third of all bingo players are aged between 25 and 34, with the majority of them choosing to play online rather than at bingo halls.
This is just a natural evolution that bingo is going through as technology becomes more central to all of our lives. At one point, the game looked set to die as bingo halls declined in popularity, but the online version of the game saved it.
It is part of a wider international embrace of online gaming, but the particular enthusiasm for bingo in countries like the UK shows that there are national differences in the games that people prefer. Online bingo has developed to the point that there are innumerable websites, ever-more exciting bingo variants and enticing bonuses available to you at a click.
The next stage is likely to see younger people playing mobile bingo apps on their phones and companies investing more in improving those.
Now you know some of the fun facts about bingo, why not try playing.