Bingo has been a massive past time in the UK for decades. Known originally as a hobby for the working classes, it would once provide an evening of entertainment away from people’s daily lives, with prizes ranging from toiletries and bars of soap to small cash amounts. However, in recent years the bingo industry has boomed – people for all ages and classes are now playing on regular basis, both online and in traditional bingo halls – and winnings are now bigger than ever.
Increasing year and year quite substantially, bingo jackpots are now well into their millions. And unlike the National Lottery, the winnings aren’t split between numerous people. So when a lucky Mum from Lanarkshire scooped £1.2 million in March 2008, things were no different and she took away every last penny. Not bad for a cleaner on a minimum wage.
This £1.2 million bingo win isn’t the first of its kind, either – only a year earlier, another lady in the UK took away a massive win of £1.1m.
Looking at the many people who gamble on the game, what actually attracts them to play bingo?
In the mid-1900’s, working class Britain was dominated by bingo halls and social clubs providing bingo on an evening. It was a social event – people could meet their friends, have a drink and a smoke have a few relaxing games of bingo. Bingo isn’t an arduous game and although beginners may find it a little difficult to keep up, it doesn’t take a great deal of thought when compared to other popular gambling games like poker. This, as a general statement, is probably the one reason why it is so popular.
Whilst bingo popularity became less popular throughout the 1990’s and into the early millennium, meaning the amount of winnings on offer was decreased and not as attractive. However, bingo received a massive boost in popularity with the introduction of online bingo – and the popularity hasn’t stopped yet.
Online bingo provides a fantastic way to play a great game, without having to get dressed and go outside – of course, that doesn’t mean you can’t have a drink whilst playing!
Over the sea, bingo is just as big in America as it is in the UK. It does differ slightly in the way it is played – the actual bingo cards are different and the amount of numbers needed to win is different – but the general game itself is very similar. Winnings wise, bingo players in the USA can expect to win $100,000 if they appear on the hit TV show Bingo America. Again, the rules are slightly different to that of the UK bingo, but if winners manage to get to the final, they can be looking to take away around $100,000 – not bad for a game which is, in effect, full of luck.
Bingo will always continue to be popular, whether it’s offline, online, with large groups or a crow of friends – the game is easy, fun and the winnings, as proved, can be extremely substantial.
By Paul O’Donnell
Online Gaming from Virgin Games – A trusted source for Online Poker, Casino and Bingo type games.