Do You Know These 13 Fun Facts About Bingo?

The game of Bingo has been around for a long time. This classic game of marking off numbers in the hopes of crossing out all the rows on a ticket is an old favourite for a reason.

But with all that history comes a lot of interesting facts. Read on to see how many of these six fun facts you already know.

1. US and UK Bingo Feature Different Ball Counts

Depending on which side of the Atlantic you’re on, you’ll encounter a different version of Bingo. The main difference between the US and UK versions is quite simple – it’s in how many balls are in play.

In the UK, the standard format features 90 balls, whereas in the US you would typically only see the 75-ball version. It’s a small change, but it does change the feel of the game considerably.

A lower ball count helps the US format to move at a slightly faster pace, although plenty of people still prefer the 90-ball format.

2. The 5×5 Grid Comes From the US Bingo Card

Thanks to the rise of online Bingo rooms and other offerings, it’s possible to play different versions of the game no matter where you are in the world.

It’s thanks to online Bingo that the 5×5 grid has grown in popularity, even when it used to be only really seen in US Bingo halls.

UK cards come in a slightly different 9×3 format, featuring longer rows and a number of empty squares per ticket.

3. The World’s Largest Bingo Game Attracted 2,510 Players

In 2006, the world's largest Bingo game was held at the Gala Bingo Club in Cwmbran, Wales. The game attracted an astonishing 2,510 players, setting a new Guinness World Record.

The event was organized to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Gala Bingo and required a massive venue to accommodate all the participants. The game lasted for several hours, and the winners took home impressive prizes, making it a memorable experience for all involved.

4. Bingo’s Roots Are in Italy

While the name Bingo came about a lot later, the core of the game is a lot older. It owes its origins to an Italian game known as Il Gioco del Lotto d'Italia.

However, a lot of the main elements that we think of when we think of Bingo today were actually added over time. The grid layout of the tickets was apparently a French addition, which would help to set it apart from Tombola and other lottery games.

5. Bingo Was Popular During the Second World War

During World War II, bingo became a popular pastime among American troops stationed overseas. It was used as a way to keep soldiers entertained and boost morale during long periods of downtime between battles and missions.

The game was easy to set up and could be played in various settings, from military bases to ships at sea. Many soldiers found Bingo to be a welcome distraction from the stresses of war, and it helped foster a sense of camaraderie among the troops.

6. Bingo Is Televised in Many Countries

In several countries, Bingo has made the leap from traditional halls to television screens, becoming a popular form of entertainment for viewers at home. These shows often feature celebrity guests, live performances, and big prizes, attracting millions of viewers each week.

In India, “National Bingo Night” is a popular television show that combines the excitement of Bingo with celebrity appearances and live entertainment. The show features a massive studio audience playing along with the game, while viewers at home can participate using interactive Bingo cards.

In Sweden, “BingoLotto” is a long-running television show that has been on the air since 1991. The show combines Bingo with a lottery, offering players the chance to win huge prizes. Viewers can purchase Bingo cards in advance and play along with the show from home.

“BingoLotto” also features live performances by popular Swedish musicians and comedians, making it a well-rounded entertainment experience. The show has been so successful that it has inspired similar programs in other countries, such as Denmark and the Netherlands.

In the Philippines, “Bingo Break” is a popular segment featured on the variety show “Eat Bulaga!” The segment involves audience members playing Bingo in the studio, with viewers at home also able to participate. “Bingo Break” has been a staple of “Eat Bulaga!” for many years, offering cash prizes and adding an interactive element to the variety show format.

7. Australians and Kiwis Don’t Call “Bingo”

The name Bingo didn’t come about until fairly recently in the game’s lifetime. As a result, there are games very similar to Bingo around the world that still go by different names.

Housey-Housey was the name that the British used to know Bingo by, and in Australia and New Zealand that version of the game still lives on. It’s why you probably won’t hear an Australian or Kiwi person call “Bingo” but rather “Housey” instead.

8. In India, Bingo Is Known as Tambola

The Indian version of Bingo is known as “Tambola”. However, having been a British colony, “Housie” is also used to refer to the game.

Tambola is commonly played during festivals such as Diwali, family gatherings, and social events. The game is similar to the 90-ball version of Bingo played in the UK.

9. There’s Bollywood-Themed Bingo

Some Bingo halls and online platforms in India offer Bollywood-themed Bingo games. These games feature Bollywood trivia, music, and references to popular movies and actors, making the experience more engaging for Indian players.

10. Bingo Is Often Used as a Fundraising Tool

Various organizations, including schools, churches, and charities often organize bingo games for fundraising purposes. The money raised from ticket sales and entry fees is used to support different causes and initiatives, making Bingo a fun and engaging way to give back to communities.

11. Many Bingo Players Are Superstitious

Like lottery players, many Bingo enthusiasts have superstitions and rituals they believe will bring them luck. Some common practices include using the same dauber or pen to mark their cards, sitting in a specific seat, or bringing a lucky charm to the game.

These superstitions can range from the mundane, like wearing a particular outfit, to the more unusual, such as carrying a rabbit's foot or blowing on the Bingo balls before they are drawn. While these practices may not have any actual impact on the game's outcome, they provide a sense of comfort and ritual for the players, adding an extra layer of excitement and anticipation to the Bingo experience.

12. There Used to Be Almost 600 Bingo Halls in the UK

Bingo has been an incredibly popular game from the start. In the UK, it particularly took off in the 1960s, with dedicated Bingo halls popping up across the nation.

At its peak, there were nearly 600 Bingo halls up and down the length of the UK. But, once online gaming really gained momentum, hundreds of these ended up closing their doors.

13. Bingo’s Own Rhyming Slang

Something else that the British brought to the game of Bingo is the set of now-famous rhyming slang names. Rather than reading out the actual number of any given ball, UK callers will instead shout out a rhyming phrase for players to echo back.

But ‘Bingo lingo’ as it’s called isn’t always about the rhymes. Numbers like 14 (Valentine’s Day) or 21 (Royal Salute) are referred to by terms that don’t rhyme with the number but are still recognisable all the same.

With 8 years of professional work experience, Mattias Fröbrant is a recognized expert in the field of lottery and online gambling. As a meticulous reviewer of over 300 gambling sites in India, he has garnered industry recognition for his exceptional attention to detail and fact-checking prowess.
Having previously worked with prominent industry giants like Betsson Group, Mattias brings a wealth of expertise to the table. His deep understanding of Indian gambling platforms and online lotteries sets him apart as a trusted source of information.
At OnlineLottoBaba, Mattias’s mission is to simplify the online lottery experience for readers and to guide them to the best and safest lottery sites in India. Through thoroughly researched content, he provides valuable insights to enhance readers’ online lottery journey.
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