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History of Bingo Amounts to More Than a Hill of Beans

4 Jan 2005

NEW YORK -- As reported by the Post-Standard: "Bingo was modeled after the Italian lottery, 'Lo Giuoco del Lotto d'Italia,' which used a game card with three horizontal rows and nine vertical rows.

"Wooden chips with the numbers 1 to 90 were placed in a bag and drawn out one at a time. The first person to completely cover a horizontal row was the winner.

"A carnival pitchman touring Germany brought the game to America.

"Toy salesman Edwin S. Lowe stumbled upon the game, then called "beano," at a carnival near Atlanta. When numbers were called, players placed a bean on their card. Winners yelled, "beano."

"Lowe returned home to New York and created his own beano game with friends. One player was so excited about the game that she yelled out "Bingo" instead of "Beano." Lowe then created the game bingo and sold it.

"...A parishioner from a financially ailing church in Wilkes-Barre, Pa., first came up with the idea to use bingo as a fund-raiser..."

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