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Planning Retirement Online


June 2010  



BingoBefore online gaming became such a big thing, Bingo Halls and Bingo Clubs used to be a real feature of the UK. Do any of our readers remember an earlier name for these evenings – Housey Housey? On key nights each week people would join their friends at these lively and friendly events.

For anyone who has never played the game, bingo is a game of chance. Before electronic devices were involved, you were given a card with numbered squares and some counters. A caller at the front of the hall would draw out the numbers at random and call them out.

If you had the corresponding number on your card, you covered it with a counter. The first person to cover all their squares would call out “bingo” and would often win some excellent prizes. It was a simple but entertaining game and a pleasant way to pass an evening. The callers in the front were popular figures and often developed their own languages: “eyes down” to indicate the game was about to start and fun associations for the numbers – “clickety click, sixty six”. All in all, bingo was very much a part of the social fabric of the UK.

The game originated from Italy where it can be traced back to the 1530s. It was introduced into France in the late 1770s and then into Germany where it was used as a children’s game to help students learn maths, spelling and history. An interesting little sideline is that when the game reached American in 1929, it became known as “beano” after a winner accidently called out “beano” instead of bingo!

Today bingo is still hugely popular, but it has come rather a long way from those innocent games in the local hall. Today there are often money prizes involved rather than the chocolates and other simple rewards of earlier years. The actual games have become more complicated as well with different winning combinations such as the first row to be completed also drawing prizes.

There is also a lot of technology involved at most bingo sessions. An electronic random number generator is very common and an increase in computerized bingo allows numbers to be drawn and checked via auto-validating electronic systems.

But perhaps the biggest change is the involvement of big money. Bingo did develop quite quickly into a local fund raising event for specific events, but the option of turning it into a gambling game was soon apparent and today a lot of money can be involved – the record payout for the national bingo game is over £1,100,000. Mechanised Cash Bingo uses coin slots or an electronic credit system and offers good prizes for the lucky winners. Online Bingo is also increasingly popular with many different companies running their own sites including famous names such as Ladbrokes.

Interestingly, an offshoot of the growth of online bingo is renewed interest in the game itself. Today there is an increasing number of small local bingo evenings being held available across the country and a fun bingo evening can still be a lovely way to raise money for a charity, to meet local people and make some new friends.


Nutricentre Discount for laterlife visitors If in any doubt about any of the information covered in health and nutrition related articles and it's relevance for you, consult your GP.




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