De­cem­ber is Bingo’s Birthday Month

PS Magazine - - POP CULTURE, NEWS, AND EVENTS FROM PAST DECADES -

The game of Bingo is be­lieved to have orig­i­nated from the na­tional lottery game in Italy that be­gan in 1530 (and has been played al­most con­tin­u­ously to this day). It made its way to other parts of Europe and evolved to in­clude play­ing cards and to­kens with the numbers called out. In 1929, the game that was then known as Beano was in­tro­duced in the US when it was played at a car­ni­val near At­lanta. It was there that toy sales­man Ed­win S. Lowe en­coun­tered an ex­cited crowd play­ing it. He re­named it Bingo and hired math­e­ma­ti­cian Carl Lef­fler to help cre­ate at least 6,000 dif­fer­ent Bingo cards. By 1934, an es­ti­mated 10,000 Bingo games were played weekly, and to­day more than $90 mil­lion dol­lars are spent on Bingo each week in North Amer­ica alone.

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