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The History of Bingo

Bingo is one of the most popular games in the world. It is a lottery-based game which roots can be traced back to 16th century Italy when it was called "Il Giuoco del Lotto d'Italia".

The game spread through Europe and continued to develop until around the 18th century the French added to the game tokens, playing cards and the process of reading out numbers, which resembles the bingo game we are all familiar with today.

During the course of the 19th century the Germans mainly used bingo as an educational tool; allowing children to play in order to help teach them spelling, names of animals and the multiplication tables.

There is not accurate information on when or how the game found its way to the US but at the beginning of the 20th century the game was still known as Beano and was played at various traveling carnivals throughout the US, which is exactly where it was noticed by Mr. Edwin Lowe while visiting a traveling carnival near Atlanta, Georgia.

Lowe saw people playing the game using a rubber stamp, cardboard sheets and dried beans and he noticed the sheer excitement that people were displaying while playing the game. This made him decide to take the idea of the game with him back to New York to play with his friends.

Back in New York Lowe used similar dried beans, rubber numbering stamp and cardboards to hold game for his friends.

His friends loved the game and during one of their playing sessions one of the players was so excited when he won that he shouted "Bingo" instead of "Beano".

The word "Bingo" is reference to a lottery game dates back to late 18th century England and that is the earliest record of the word being used in this context.

Lowe and his friends continued to play, the now renamed Bingo game, and over time Lowe offered two versions; 24 cards set sold for $2 and a 12 card set sold for $1.

The game gained popularity and Lowe allowed any competitor who wished to also hold games to do so for a mere annual fee of $1.

The game of Bingo spread like fire throughout the US and by the 1940's Bingo games were held all over the country.

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