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December is recognized as Bingo Month so get ready to scream BINGO! This game of chance has been a popular past time for years in the United States. Whether you’re a gambler at your local bingo hall or you play at home with friends and family, bingo is a guaranteed good time, and millions of Americans play bingo on a regular basis.

The game was originated in Italy in 1530 and was initially a lottery called “Il Giuoco del Lotto d’Italia”. In the eighteenth century, France added the tokens and reading out the numbers to the ‘lottery’. Later, in the nineteenth century, the Germans used the game to help children learn vocabulary, spelling and even math! Bingo became popular around the 1920’s in America, when Hugh J. Ward introduced the game at carnivals around Pittsburgh and Pennsylvania. He then copyrighted the name “Bingo” along with its rule book. Afterwards, Edwin Lowe, a toy merchandiser, further popularized and spread the word of the new game, making it a huge success. He produced the first marketable version of the game and sold it for $1.

Fun Fact #1: Edwin Lowe hired a mathematician named Carl Leffler to create more then 6,000 bingo boards that had to consist of non-repeating numerical combinations. But remember, there were no computers back then to help Carl with this task. The poor man eventually went insane from trying to generate the different Bingo cards!

Fun Fact #2: Edwin Lowe also first commercialized the game Yahtzee in 1956! He’s sold over 40 million Yahtzee games around the world.

Bingo enthusiasts probably believe in ‘lucky bingo numbers’, do you? Some people may say this is very superstitious, but if you have a lucky number then go for it. Take a chance and trust yourself, who knows what could happen! Whether you have one lucky number or a whole bunch of them, don’t give up. Bingo strategists say that if you stick with one set of numbers most of the time, they will reward you at some point. So what’s your lucky number?

Make bingo a part of your holiday celebrations this year in honor of bingo month. You can easily make your own bingo boards and choose your own theme, or stick with the original numbers. Use coins, pieces of paper or candy for the markers and don’t forget the free space! To spice it up a little, offer a prize for the first lucky person to call out “BINGO!” No matter the age, bingo is fun for everyone!

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