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A Brief History of Bingo

Author: Nick Wright

Anyone out there who enjoys playing jackpot bingo on one of the many free bingo sites around might be interested to read this article that describes a brief history of the game from its earliest beginnings, through the widespread social game played in a house of bingo, to the online jackpot bingo version that you love to play today.

The earliest form of jackpot bingo has been traced right back to sixteenth century Italy and a form of lottery game known as Il Giuoco del Lotto d'Italia, whilst not much is known about the ins and outs of this particular version of the game what is known is that it developed and spread across Europe.

By the eighteenth century the game had reached France and had already developed to the point that it included playing cards, tokens and the calling of numbers. At the end of the eighteenth century the game diverged slightly; in Germany it was widely used for the next century as a tool to teach children spelling and times tables, but it was in France where it continued to move more toward the jackpot bingo that you would recognise today.

It was in 1778 that the French claimed the game which would develop into jackpot bingo as their own and labelled it Le Lotto, this early variation of jackpot bingo involved a three by nine grid with numbers ranging from 1 to 90. However, foreshadowing modern jackpot bingo’s grid, only five squares in each row contained numbers.

The man largely credited with standardising the game was Hugh J. Ward, who introduced the game to carnivals in the late 1920’s before copyrighting the name ‘Bingo’ and authoring the official rule book in 1933. At around the same time, toy merchandiser Edwin Lowe saw Ward’s game at a carnival and went on to introduce ‘Bingo’ to his friends in New York before then producing a version of the game that spread all around the country.

So, next time you visit your favourite free bingo sites to play a bit of recreational jackpot bingo, you may afford yourself a moment to think about the long and varied history of the jackpot bingo game that you love.