Bingo originated in Italy in 1530. “Lo Guioco del Lotto D’Italia” is still played every Saturday in Italy and contributes more than $75 million to the national budget each year.
It spreads to France. “Le Lotto” is played by the intelligentsia aka the rich folks.
The game spreads across Europe. In 1850, Germany introduced educational lotto for spelling, history, math.
Bingo is brought to U.S. and played on the country fair circuit. Named “beano” – they covered the cards with beans and prizes included a a kewpie doll.
Ed Lowe, a toy salesman, renamed and trademarked Bingo when a young woman accidently called out Bingo instead of beano.
First known use as fundraiser by a Catholic priest in Wilkes-Barre, PA. To support use of game as a fundraiser, Ed Lowe commissioned Columbia University professor, Dr. Carl Leffler, to create 6,000 Bingo cards with non-repeating number groups.
Lowe published “Bingo Instructional Manual.”
Monthly newsletter started by Ed Lowe; The Blotter mailed out to 37,000 subscribers.
10,000 Bingo games played each week. Ed Lowe’s Bingo company had over 1,000 employees. 60,000 people play the largest Bingo game to date, in Teaneck, N.J. Over 10,000 people were turned away.
Ed Lowe sells Bingo to Milton Bradley for $26 million.
Texas lawmakers approve state-regulated Bingo to raise money for charities.
First Bingo game played online in the UK.
Texas Charity Advocates (TCA) founded to educate Texans about the critical role charitable Bingo plays in communities across the state.
70,080 Bingo players hold largest Bingo game, documented by Guinness World Records, in Bogota, Columbia.
Biggest Bingo jackpot; Scotland prize = $2,371,791 in U.S. dollars.
Highest Bingo game played on Mount Everest, 17,500’ above sea level.
Texas Charitable Bingo pays record amounts to charities (over $31 million), and in prize money to players (over $590 million).
More than $90 million spent on Bingo each week in North America.