Amazing facts about Bingo that you didn’t know!

by on April 12, 2021

Dabbers at the ready, as we are about to enter the wonderful world of Bingo! One of the most popular games played globally, it’s a guarantee that everyone knows the basics of how to play Bingo. 

But we think there may be some things that you didn’t know, so we’re here to reveal the most interesting facts about the game. After reading this article you can go and play the fun Bingo games in the knowledge that you know everything there is to know about the game. 

1. Bingo originated in Italy 

Now a classic game across the world, it actually originated in Italy, thought to have dated back to the 16th century. At this point in history, it wasn’t known as Bingo, and actually derived from the Italian lottery called Il Gioco del Lotto d’Italia.

From there, the lotto-style game was taken to France – now named Le Lotto – and then made its way to other parts of Europe, including the UK, during the 18th century. This primitive version of Bingo still involved the main principles that you can find in a modern game today, which involve marking off the numbers on a ticket, once called out, in order to create a winning combination. 

The inception of the Bingo games of today is unclear, as is the name of the game itself. But one thing for certain is that Bingo gained popularity during the 20th century. In the 1920s it became a favourite fixture of carnivals and fairs – and perhaps was the era when the name Bingo was used for the first time, as it was British slang at the time, used as an exclamation at the end of a successful search. 

The popularity of the game continued, with the first patented Bingo card created in 1942, and the opportunity to win even larger prizes thanks to a change in legalisation and the Betting and Gaming Act, in 1960. 

2. Games played in US Bingo halls are different to those in the UK 

Nowadays, you can play all kinds of variations of Bingo online, with different numbers of balls, a range of themes, and extra bonus features. 

But, when it comes to the game played commonly in the traditional Bingo halls, it differs from country to country. In fact, in Quebec, the game is called Kinzo and in India, it’s known as Tambola.

The most commonly played Bingo game in the UK is 90-ball Bingo. As the name suggests, this involves 90 balls numbered accordingly, and the ticket consists of 27 spaces in nine columns and three rows. Players can win one line, two lines or a full house, when marking off the numbers called out. 

This differs to the Bingo game in the US, where typically 75 balls are used to play. The ticket is also different, made up of 25 squares, in a five-by-five grid. The middle square remains as a free space, with the winning pattern revealed at the beginning of the game. 

3. The biggest Bingo win was over £1million pounds

Playing Bingo is all about the fun, but the prizes involved can also be quite attractive. And in the history of Bingo, there have been some huge jackpots won! 

According to the Guinness Book of World Records, on the 27th January 2008, the largest amount of money at an in-house Bingo game was won by Christine Bradfield. She was playing at the Castle Leisure Bingo Club in Merthyr Tydfil, South Wales, when she achieved the winning pattern that awarded her a whopping £1,101,686.