Games of chance have been a big favorite all over the globe for some time now, but very few have achieved quite the level of fame that has come to bingo. Surprisingly, it is a very recent game compared with many others out there today and another thing that is unusual is that while many games have quite unclear histories to them, bingo is a game that has a very solid and defined past. History scholars have shown that the game first originated over six hundred years ago in Italy as a national lottery called Lo Giuoco del Lotto d’Italia which is Italian for clearing of Italy’s lots. This means that the game is similar to any other lottery and in this early form, the game was very popular among Italians and it is, in fact, still played there the same way today. However, it was not just Italy that would prove to be the perfect place for early bingo because once it headed north up into France, it became popular there, as well. Then the game found its way into Germany and was adopted by the Germans as a great way to teach children about various subjects they needed to memorize such as their numbers, popular animals and also the alphabet. Being able to get into the game easily made it quite popular for kids and it is no surprise that it was just as appealing to adults when Edwin Lowe discovered it out side of the United States city of Atlanta, Georgia in 1929. Lowe was a traveling salesman with a good eye for a business opportunity and when he spied how much fun people were having playing a game called beano, he knew that he wanted to bring it back to his own home town, New York City. That is exactly what he did.
Once he arrived home, Lowe started right out developing the game into a form that he could entertain others with, designing it as a party game and then as a way to raise money. This was the Great Depression, after all, and any great business idea needed to be followed up on. The basic concept became a huge hit and it wouldn’t be long before Lowe started selling the cards that players would need. Not only did various venues want to offer the games to the public, they were largely embraced by charity groups such as churches that wanted to raise money for different causes, too. By leveraging the popularity of the game Lowe was able to get it spread all across the US in a very short amount of time. The timing could not have been better because the TV was changing the fact that people used to go to the movies for fun and social times. With bingo, they could get together and have fun while still being around others instead of camped out in their living rooms and not interacting beyond their own home. Once the game hit the UK, it really took off in a whole new form and a new fan base was built rapidly.