10 Interesting Facts About the History of Bingo

Bingo has a long and fascinating history that spans centuries. Here are ten interesting facts about the game’s past and how it developed into the popular pastime we know today:


  • The modern version of bingo is thought to have originated in Italy during the 1500s as a game called Lo Giuoco del Lotto d’Italia. It was widely played among the upper class, including royalty, as a form of gambling.

  • The first known printed reference to bingo dates back to 1778 when an anonymous author wrote about “A New Kind of Lottery” in Germany. Interestingly, instead of numbers, these early games used pictures!

  • By the late 18th century, bingo had become a popular way for charities to raise money in Canada and Europe – ushering in its use around the world.

  • The game made its way across the Atlantic Ocean to America with immigrants from different European countries who eventually blended their regional variations into what became known as “modern” bingo.

  • In 1929, Edwin S Lowe changed everything when he created “Beano” – an Americanized version of bingo featuring numbered cards instead of pictures – after seeing it being played amongst carnival-goers at a country fair in Georgia city.

  • Lowe licensed his game to toy manufacturers and gave away thousands of copies across the United States – sparking its widespread popularity throughout the entire nation!

  • To this day, many people still refer to Lowe’s classic creation as “beano.” That said, it officially changed its name to BINGO shortly after he sold his rights to toys manufacturer Carl Leffler who added more numbers (and thus increased the odds) so that people would be more likely to play for money!

  • Since then, bingo has grown even further and is now available online at websites such as BingoHall and BingoMania – allowing players all around the world access to their favorite pastime without ever having to leave their homes!

  • The largest amount ever won on a single ticket was $11 million dollars; this record was set by student Gary Bellerback while playing at a casino in Las Vegas in 1989!


Although there are dozens of variations on offer; 75-ball (American) and 90-ball (UK) continue to remain some of the most popular forms of bingo worldwide. So if you’re looking for an exciting game with plenty of history behind it – give one of these versions a try today!