You can’t turn on the TV without seeing a flashy advert for bingo nowadays, and with good reason. Online bingo has become incredibly popular, with millions of eager players sitting down to mark off the numbers and watch the balls fall every week.
New sites crop up and old sites disappear as tastes change, meaning players can select from hundreds of quality sites, offering an amazing array of games, juicy jackpots, and buzzing chat rooms where the emphasis is on fun.
If you’ve played online bingo, chances are, you’ll be as bonkers about it as we are. And if you haven’t played it yet, what are you waiting for? It’s the craze that’s sweeping the world – it’s a great way to make new friends, and to possibly win a little bit of money, or even a LOT of money.
The history of bingo is almost as exciting and interesting as the very game itself, so here are some juicy tidbits to educate you further about the world’s favourite numbers game:
1. The history of bingo can be traced back to an Italian lottery game called "Il Giuoco del Lotto d'Italia” This was played as early as 1530 BC. By the 18th-century, the game had spread into France and Germany, and was used for educational purposes, to teach children animal names, spelling, and multiplication tables.
2. In 1929, a travelling toy salesman called Edwin Lowe witnessed people playing an early variation of bingo, called BEANO at a fair. BEANO used cardboard sheets, a rubber stamp, and dried beans. When a player accidentally yelled BINGO instead of BEANO, the modern game was born.
3. The phenomenon of bingo spread rapidly, so popular was the game. By 1934, there were an estimated 10,000 games played in America, mainly in recreational centres and churches.
4. By 2012, it was estimated there were 2.5 million female bingo players in the UK, enjoying the game on a regular basis.
5. The average game of 90 ball bingo takes around four minutes.
6. The average speed of a 90 ball game is 25 calls per minute. If you think the game is too fast or slow, some sites let you alter the speed of the caller.
7. In 1930, a mathematics professor from the University of Columbia allegedly went insane after coming up with 6000 non-repeating combinations the cards.
8. Around 96% of players win at some point while playing.
9. 9.In 2011, a survey showed that more women than men found happiness while playing the game. These women said they played it for companionship and networking. Anybody who’s ever passed the time in a busy chat room will know just how easy it is to make new friends with similar interests.
10. You could find love in the bingo chat room. Forget online dating – more and more men are starting to play. Brush up on your flirting tactics because you could be going on a hot date sooner than you think.
11. You think it gets crowded when you play a big bingo jackpot game? Well check this for size – the biggest game in history was played in New Jersey, with over 60,000 players competing for the jackpot. That's an awful lot of daubers at the ready.10,000 players were turned away, due to overcapacity.
12. Bingo isn't for grannies any more – 90% of players are below the age of 50. And if you've seen the latest young and funky TV adverts, and you'll get an idea for just how fashionable a game bingo truly is.
13. 83% of players multitask while playing online. This can involve Facebook, watching TV, or chatting on the phone. Thankfully, online players need never miss a number, because the software marks them off automatically.
14. There is even a variation called Death Bingo. This is back to front bingo, with players eliminated when they call a full house. The winner is the player to fill out the most spaces on the card before getting a full house.
15. There are around 100 million players worldwide. 80% of these are females between 30-15 years old.
16. Celebrities love to play bingo. Fans include Denise Van Outen, Catherine Zeta Jones and Robbie Williams.
17. The bingo industry employs around 20,000 people.
18. Bingo is a game of superstition – players can have lucky chairs, lucky pens, lucky numbers, and even lucky underwear. Some superstitious players will even go around their chair three times before they sit down.
Consider yourself considerably more educated about the game – and if you're ever stuck for anything to say in a chat room, drop one of these fact bombs and wait for the reaction.