Back in the earliest days of the game in Italy, it was known as ‘Lo Giuoco del Lotto D’italia’ and was a type of lottery. The stems obviously rooted very deeply into Italian culture as the game is still played weekly on Saturdays. The game made started to spread across Europe as it made its way into France. There, it became called ‘Le Lotto’ and was a hobby mainly attended by the more affluent members of society. Le Lotto became introduced to the Germans by the 1800s and there, its main purpose was as an educational game to help children learn mathematics, spelling and history.
Soon after, the game made its way across the English Channel and became known as ‘Housie’ to the Brits. It was not until 1929 that it reached America and was initially called ‘Beano’ before the name finally evolved into present name.
Bingo for the Famous
It is quite often thought that Bingo is an activity for pensioners or generally those with low income. However, this is far from the truth. Even back in the early days in France, it was a hobby in which mainly wealthy men were involved. Today, there is a massive list of A-list celebrities who enjoy the classic game, including pop stars, Hollywood actors and members of Royalty.
Topping the list has to be the Queen and Prince William. It has been heard that a game of bingo is not an uncommon activity at Royal Family events and that the two older members are always first in line when the cards are being handed out.
Hollywood superstar Russell Crowe also loves playing bingo and believe it or not, once worked as a bingo caller in Australia. Funnily enough, he was dismissed from his job for being ‘rude’. I wonder if he still regrets his foolish, youthful behaviour. Another movie superstar bingo player is Catherine Zeta Jones, who learned the basics of the game in the Welsh valleys.