To many people it might be an older person’s game (which is simply not true, lots of younger people play bingo online each and every day!) Today I thought we would take a look at some of the more amazing facts and trivia behind the past-time that is nothing more than a load of balls…
10 – Billy Bingo
Bingo Lingo’s established place in British culture did not stop holiday camp chain Butlins from attempting to update the names in 2003. It was popular culture expert Professor Charlie Blake, of Northampton University, who was assigned the task of refreshing the phrases used for a younger, trendier audience. However, despite new phrases referencing popular celebrities such as ‘Gareth Gates (8)’ and ‘J-Lo’s bum (71)’, the new set of lingo never caught on.
9 – Know the Lingo
Bingo is perhaps most famous for the inventive phrases assigns to numbers, sometimes referred to as ‘bingo Lingo’, that are announced by the caller. Whilst most people are aware of the phrases for certain numbers, ‘Two Fat Ladies’ being 88 for example, it is sometimes forgotten that every number from 1 to 90 has an equally inventive phrase attached.
8 – Visiting Mecca
According to leading bingo hall brand Mecca, their average customer spends £15.69 per-visit.
7 – Call em as you see em.
Not many would think that the role of bingo caller would lead to fame and mass appreciation, however, there actually was a nationwide search for Britain’s best bingo caller in 2006. The final of the competition to find the ‘National Bingo Caller of the Year’ took place at the Gala Bingo Club in Surrey Quays, south-east London and was hosted by television personality Esther Rantzen.
6 – Half a grand.
Six Finalists were present at the event, who won regional competitions for the Midlands, Scotland, Wales, the North East, North West, and the South. The winner received £500 and the opportunity to call a bingo game in Vegas.
5 – Real big money
It was not just the convenience that convinced bingo lovers to go virtual. Online bingo sites, such as www.luckytouchbingo.com, offer punters the possibility of winning tens of thousands of pounds above what was offered by local bingo halls through the creation of regular big money events.
4 – No more balls
The decline of bingo halls can be partially attributed to the rise of Internet bingo. Internet bingo has proved incredibly successful since its launch in 1996, becoming a multi-million dollar industry generating one billion dollars of revenue a year.
3 – We’re late already!
Bingo halls were a popular attraction in the UK from their conception and this continued through the remainder of the 20th century with the industry steadily expanding. However, their popularity soon began to decline with a drop in UK bingo halls of more than 200, from 600 to below 400, since 2005.
2 – Loto?!
The game then travelled to France, renamed ‘Le Loto’, and became the game of choice for the wealthy in the late 1770s. Germany also adopted the concept in the 1800s but as an educational game teaching math and spelling to children.
1 – Balls from Italy!
Although bingo is now a predominantly British institution, the game actually begun as an Italian lottery called ‘Lo Guioco del Lotto D’Italia’ that goes back as far as 1530.