There are 75 balls and 90 balls versions of Bingo. 75 balls bingo is more popular in America. Today it is estimated that Americans spend more than \$100 million dollars weekly playing Bingo. Bingo is a game of chance which is won when randomly chosen numbers are called out, if they match with the numbers chosen by the player and in some variations -fall into a particular pattern -it is a win!

Bingo was known through different names through history, including Lotto, Beano and Housie. It was only when it came to America that it was called Bingo. The spread of Bingo’s popularity and its nomenclature has an interesting story behind it.

Originally, the game was inspired by a lottery called “Lo Giuoco del Lotto d’Italia played in the 1500s in Italy. After its creation in Italy, the game became quite popular and moved to other countries in Europe. It moved to France in the late 1770s where the game evolved with the use of tokens, cards and the calling out of numbers. The French version most closely resembles today’s Bingo game.

It was only in the year 1929, that the game moved to America where it was first played at a carnival near Atlanta, Georgia. It was also played at country fairs with the name “Beano.” It was called Beano because players used beans to mark their numbers. The game had by then further developed into a game which could be won not just by filling a vertical row of numbers but by completing a horizontal or diagonal row as well. The winner called out Beano when they had a winning row and the name was born.

The inventor of the modern game of bingo is said to be a New York toy salesman Edwin S. Lowe. When playing the game, he heard someone accidentally call out “Bingo” when they won instead of the word “Beano.” He renamed the game “Bingo.” So the Bingo game played in America is the creation of an American.

Lowe apparently asked Carl Leffler, a Columbia University mathematics professor to help him expand the number of winning combinations in the game. Leffler was enormously successful in his work and has developed at least 6,000 different Bingo cards by 1930.

The game that was developed by Lowe and Leffler had a 12-card set and a 24- card set. Lowe knew he couldn’t control the spread of the game and only asked that anyone who played the game reimburse him \$1 to use the name “Bingo.” Today, Americans make millions playing the game.

By Jeffrey Mcmahon