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Thoughts off the Glass

B-14

I have a question that you have never given any thought to…. Who invented BINGO?   Yes, BINGO.  

Does it really matter?  No, not really.  But it could be a great ice-breaker if you ever needed one someday.  This simple game of chance where everyone has the same chance of winning, kinda like that show with Howie Mandel “Deal or No Deal” – no skill required, purely chance (actually in BINGO you do need to have some reaction skills and to be able to match the numbers to your paper – so yes more skill that picking numbers).   BINGO is funny in that this form of gambling, there is no drinking allowed ( and I mean alcohol).   Today’s BINGO is a high-tech industry with monitors, lightedboard and computers.  You could play 12 sheets of paper and another 36 on the computer, of course increasing your odds or adding to your frustration.  When think of gambling and casinos, they are very noisy with all the slot machines whistling and buzzing along with the background music and chattering of all the people along with the waitresses coming around every other minute asking you if you would like a drink.  BINGO is the complete opposite of that, more like golf.  As the caller announces “B-14” a pin could drop as the only sound you hear is the pounding of daubers (these are big ink stinks) marking out the number on the multiple sheets of paper laid out in front of each person from age 5-99.  You hear the agony of defeat when someone yells out “BINGO!” and everyone else immediately crumples their sheets and mutters ” I only needed 32!”  oh the agony!    The professional BINGO players are very kind and generous, for each session lasts about 2 hours and you play 7 games of BINGO.  Each session is operated by a non-profit organization and this a great source of revenue for them.  These are music programs at school, Knights of Columbus, Kiwanis, Swim Teams, and many others like that.

Okay – who invented BINGO?  Well the modern day version was established 1929-1934 by Edwin Lowe.  It’s origin can date back to 1530.  Very interesting that this dates back to the reformation age  –  I wonder if Martin Luther had anything to do with this too?

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