5 Fun Facts About Bingo

playing bingo together at table with snacks
Image by depositphotos.com

As a nation, Brits love to bet. It’s estimated that around 44% of adults in the UK gamble each month. Of those, one of the firm favourites is bingo! While the game has come a long way since its humble beginnings in the bingo hall and can now be played online or via a bingo app, it’s still a firm favourite with adults from all walks of life. 

To help you understand a little bit more about bingo and where it comes from, we’ve put together everything you need to know including some fun facts about bingo. 

Where does bingo come from?

There aren’t many people that haven’t heard of bingo. But have you ever wondered where it came from? 

It’s believed that bingo had its roots in Italy in the 16th century. Originally based on the Italian lottery, Il Gioco del Lotto d’Italia, the game soon spread to France and beyond. Bingo was then further popularised in New York by a toy salesman, Edwin S Lowe, in 1929. He named the popular game ‘Beano’. But this name soon changed – allegedly because one of his friends became so excited when he heard a number being called that he shouted ‘bingo!’ and the name stuck. 

What are some other names for bingo?

As well as ‘Beano’ being a popular nickname for the game in the US, back in Blighty we’ve also given bingo a nickname historically. An earlier version of bingo was colloquially known as ‘Housey-Housey’… for obvious reasons! 

What is the biggest bingo win in history?

While a lot of us leave bingo halls empty-handed, some lucky participants win big. Most notable was Soraya Lowell. In 2008 she managed to scoop up a whopping £1.2 million at a bingo hall.  She immediately split this with her neighbour. 

What is the link between bingo and charity?

It’s easy to think that bingo simply lines the pockets of winners, but that’s not the case. Many bingo companies utilise the profits from ticket sales to give money back to less advantaged communities. Although they can’t give to all 169,615 UK-registered charities, profits are reinvested into the community where possible. 

Does bingo have a place in pop culture?

It sure does! As bingo is so popular, it’s no surprise that it features in pop culture. For example, it’s been known to feature in films and TV shows. For this reason, it’s not unusual to see bingo companies sponsoring different TV shows and series! 

Final thoughts

Bingo is a captivating pastime that’s far more than a game to many people. With a rich history that can be traced back centuries, it’s no wonder it’s as popular today as it was back then. So now you know a little bit more about it, why not give it a go?