Every third Thursday of the month there is an after school activity for kids at the Library. This month we’ll be playing Bingo. Everybody loves to play Bingo, so come to the Library at 3:00 p.m.  on January 19th. There will be prizes for all.

Where did the game of Bingo come from?  According to The History of Bingo by Mary Bellis, the game originated in Europe, but the name is American.

In the U.S., bingo was originally called “beano”. It was a country fair game where a dealer would select numbered discs from a cigar box and players would mark their cards with beans. They yelled “beano” if they won.

The game’s history can be traced back to 1530, to an Italian lottery called “Lo Giuoco del Lotto D’Italia,” which is still played every Saturday in Italy. From Italy the game was introduced to France in the late 1770s, where it was called “Le Lotto“, a game played among wealthy Frenchmen. The Germans also played a version of the game in the 1800s, but they used it as a child’s game to help students learn math, spelling and history.

When the game reached North America in 1929, it became known as “beano”. It was first played at a carnival near Atlanta, Georgia. New York toy salesman Edwin S. Lowe renamed it “bingo” after he overheard someone accidentally yell “bingo” instead of “beano”.

So whether you call it beano, or bingo, or lotto, it’s fun to play.

Posted by Nancy, who gets to be the caller