Facts about Bingo

You might want to bet that you’re a bingo aficionado, but you probably don’t know everything! If you want to learn more about your favourite game, then here are some fun bingo facts to enjoy!

1. Football isn’t as popular as bingo.

Every year in the UK, more money goes on bingo tickets than is spent on the total combination of football events.

2. The Scots love bingo more than the rest of the UK

One-fifth of Scottish people play bingo. This is compared to 1 in 20 people who play in the South of England. Another reason to pack up and move to the north!

3. ‘Beano’ is what bingo used to be called

Weird, but true! Bingo wasn’t always bingo. It was known as ‘beano’ because players would conceal their numbers with beans. It’d be a bit messy if we did that today. Sponsored by Heinz? Not sure it’d work.

Beano became known to us as ‘bingo’ when Yankee businessman, Edwin S. Lowe, reformed the game so it was suitable for children. The story goes: Edwin was playing a more original version of the game with family members and one individual was so thrilled they’d won that they loudly exclaimed, “BINGO!” They liked it, so it stuck!

4. It’s not just for us everyday folk

Loads of famous people started their career by bingo calling! EastEnders’ loveable Alfie Moon (Shane Richie), Simon from Blue, Kian from Westlife, and, believe it or not, even Gladiator heartthrob Russell Crowe called the numbers at a time!

5. Nearly a tenth of Brits play

8% of the UK population play bingo. That’s 3% of all men and 10% of all women.

6. Every day, almost half of regular bingo players play it every single day.

Let’s break that down. 48% of ‘regular’ bingo players admit to playing a game at least once a day. For lots of bingo fans, it’s as part of their routine as brushing their teeth or doing the washing up! Are you in that percentage?

7. If your name is Margaret, you could be a winner.

Statistically speaking, if you’re named Margaret, you have a greater likelihood of winning than someone with any other name. Get playing, Maggie!

8. Bingo is popular with Millenials

Believe it or not, the stereotype that bingo players are mostly elderly is wrong! Bingo players mostly fall under 35 years old!

9. Bingo is a sophisticated educational tool

Kids at school in Germany learnt times tables back in the 19th century. It has various connections to mathematical teaching. So, what better excuse to justify a quick game?

10. Bingo is Italian!

The game originates in Italy, back in 1530. It was called ‘Lo Giuoco del Lotto D’Italia’. People would play every Saturday.

11. A game of bingo typically lasts 3-6 minutes

This number comes from the average amount of numbers the caller picks every minute, and that’s 23.

12. British bingo cards differ from American ones

We share a lot of things with the US, but bingo card design isn’t on that list.

13. Bingo has the same effect as yoga

Playing bingo has been proven to relieve stress!

14. The Aussies don’t shout ‘bingo!’

So, we know Americans don’t share the same bingo traditions as the UK, but neither do Australian players. Instead of shouting ‘BINGO!’ they yell ‘HOUSIE!’

15. Millions play bingo regularly

In fact, over three million people in the UK regularly play the game at least twice, weekly.