Bingo has been one of the most widely popular games in the world for five centuries. From its humble inception in the back streets of Italy, it has now turned into a billion-dollar industry with online gaming sites, glamorous casinos, and a host of celebrity fans. The popularity of Bingo is growing faster than ever and this article takes a look at some of the little-known facts about this game.
1. How many people play Bingo?
Recent studies have indicated that there are over 100 million bingo players all over the world. This includes both hall and online players. The most surprising fact is that 80% of the world’s bingo players are women aged between thirty and fifty years old. However, this is changing as more and more promotions are attracting younger players as well. Increasing numbers of men are also taking a due interest in this game.
2. How did Bingo begin?
The history of this game stems from an Italian lottery called “Lo Giuoco del Lotto D’italia’ which started in the year 1530 and is still played every Saturday in Italy. From there, the game was introduced to France in the late 1770s where it was called “Le Lotto”, a game that was played mostly by the wealthy Frenchmen. Germans played this version of the game in the 1800s and it was around this period that Bingo crossed the Chanel and reached the British shores, where it became known as “Housie”
3. Difference between American and British bingo
This is again one of the little-known facts about Bingo that it is played differently in America and Britain. The basic rules are the same wherein the numbers are called out and the players have to match them with their bingo ticket. But here are a few differences in the game:
- American bingo uses only 75 balls as compared to 90 in the UK.
- The biggest difference is the way in which the game is won; In the UK its lines or full house but in the American version it is won on patterns.
- The cards and the rows and columns also differ in both the countries.
4. World’s most famous bingo players
Though there are thousands of high-profile celebrities who have gained name and fame in this game. At the top of the list are The Queen and Prince William. Some of the other famous names are Russell Crowe, Robbie Williams, Gary Barlow, Sharon Osborne, Denise van Outen, Barbara Windsor and Katie Price.
5. The world’s biggest Bingo win
The world’s biggest ever Bingo win came in December 2012 where a Jobcentre worker won a staggering 5.9 million Euros. John Orchard, 60 had been playing this game with hundreds of other gamers from around the world when his numbers showed up. The most interesting fact is he had only placed a 30p stake, but after the win, he banked a whopping 5,883,044.43 Euros!