Origins of Bingo in the US

Bingo in the US has had a long tradition which spans to almost a century. What started as a game initially called beano is now a multi-million dollar industry and is the best pass time activity in the country.

Bingo in USA is these days played mostly online and it is easy to forget how much the game has progressed since those modest beginnings back in the early 20th century.

Beano or Bingo?

Not many people know that when bingo reached the American shores it wasn’t called the way it is today, instead it was known as beano. However, after a New York toy salesman going by the name of Edwin S. Lowe overheard a man calling ‘bingo’ instead of ‘beano’ in the excitement of having a winning bingo ticket, he decided that that name is much more fitting.

The Science Behind Bingo

Bingo looks more simple than it actually is. This is because there are thousands of different combinations in a 75 or 90 ball bingo game and depending on the types of tickets these combinations can become even larger.

To help him in creating the best possible bingo game to market, Edwin S. Lowe turned to Carl Leffler, a Columbia University math professor. Leffler took to perfect the game instantly and by 1930 he had already invented 6,000 different bingo card combinations.

This is only a year after Lowe made the game popular in New York so not many people in the US have heard of the game of bingo, let alone knew the story about the mathematical genius who perfected it.

Church Bingo

The explosion in bingo popularity happened when the church got involved in the game. By then bingo was considered as a fun game to play during gatherings, but many people were aware that it could be interpreted as an illegal gambling activity and looked down on it. On top of that, bingo was still not very popular around the country and it is evident that something miraculous had to happen for bingo to explode in popularity and to be accepted by the masses.

And so it did. It might not have been the Lord who took on the task of making bingo popular around the US, but even a Catholic priest could do as far as bingo lovers were concerned. The priest’s church was in Pennsylvania and he was looking for ways to motivate his flock to donate money to charity. It came to him one day that he could do that by organizing legal church bingo and he immediately contacted Lowe with the idea in 1934.

What happened next is history as bingo became more and more popular with each passing year. These days church bingo is still a very popular way of collecting money for charity and is also used by various non-profit groups which organize charity events.

Casino Bingo

This leads us to the most common form of bingo in the US these days and that is casino bingo. Bingo is an ever present game in all casinos in Nevada and casinos operated by Native American tribes. Edward S. Lowe himself built a casino in Las Vegas and expectedly made bingo one of the casino’s chief attractions. The fact that more than $90 million is played on bingo every week in the US and Canada is enough of a testament of how popular the game is.

In addition to this, there are tons of online casino establishments that American players can visit and play bingo at. These might not explicitly say that they accept US players in their establishments, but most of the time they won’t make American bingo lovers any problems.

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