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How Bingo came to be

Bingo is one of the oldest lottery games out there,dating back as far as the 1500s. With well over three million Brits playing Bingo at their local halls, and over 100 million playing online across the UK, the classic game clearly remains a popular pastime for many, with new Bingo promotions and offers constantly making the game even more enticing. But the question remains: where did Bingo come from, and how did it come to be the popular game we know and love?

Read on to find out more.

Il Giuoco del Lotto d’Italia

The game is said to have originated in Italy in the 1500s, and became popular under the name “Il Giuoco del Lotto d’Italia”. Later, the game swept onto French shores, where it became known as “Le Lotto” in the 1700s. Le Lotto was traditionally enjoyed by wealthy Frenchmen and aristocrats, and the game continued to evolve as it ventured throughout Europe. This version had 27 squares, three rows and nine columns, with numbers one to 90 arranged randomly in the boxes. A caller would pick a wooden number token at random, and the first player to cover an entire horizonal line would be the winner. This version is the familiar game we often see in Bingo halls today.


In the 1920s the game had found it’s way over to North America, where it became known as “Beano”. Players would shout this name as they completed all the numbers in a row – whether they filled the line horizontally, vertically or diagonally. This name is said to have been established due to numbers being marked off by beans.

American toymaker Edwin Lowe was partially responsible for the spreading of the popular game, after he came across excited crowds enjoying Beano at a carnival in Georgia. Upon his return to New York, he set about making his own version of the game, so he gathered a rubber numbering stamp, some card, some dried beans, and his friends and family. Whilst playing their newfound game, it’s said that one player was so enthusiastic that they exclaimed “Bingo” instead of “Beano” upon winning the game. By the 1940s, Bingo had taken America by storm.


Whilst there have been versions of lottery games throughout history in the UK, often run by governments as a way to control illegal gaming, this version of Bingo migrated to the UK in the 1960s, and was enjoyed by the masses.

In 1996, online casinos took to our screens, and the progression in technology eventually enabled Bingo to be played live, from the comfort of your own home. Now, there’s a huge variety of Bingo games available, with it not only being enjoyed by family and friends in Bingo halls, at parties, gatherings and events, but there are themed games, based on some of your favourite gameshows like Deal or No Deal, or super-slot franchises like Rainbow Riches at an online casino. There are even more online Bingo games at Paddy Power just waiting for you to discover, with the game constantly reinventing itself in ways you’ve never even imagined – it’s no wonder that centuries on, the game remains so popular.

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