Bingo Mention the word Bingo and two things pop into my mind: churches and a dog from a popular nursery rhyme. Because of its association with churches, Bingo has been perceived much less as gambling and more as a fundraiser. Somehow, this image leads one to contemplate the nature of Bingo as a fund-raising activity for religious, charity organizations, and educational groups.

Gambling has always been equated to a game of chance wherein one can hope to increase one’s capital in huge increments without having to work for it. Bingo is actually a more interactive and fun version of the lottery. The major difference is that presence is required in Bingo.

The mechanics of the lottery and Bingo both hedge on balls that are randomly churned from a container in relation to a group of numbers you are holding as a lottery ticket or in the form of an online bingo card In Bingo, the numbers 1 up to 75 are divided into the five letters of the word Bingo and the player race to fill out the Bingo cards according to the numbers called with respect to the design pattern in play. There are no strategies or skills for playing Bingo. Everything depends on the card you randomly picked up vis-Ã -vis the balls that are drawn, to the design pattern you are trying to fill in. For instance, the more popular design patterns are cross, square, four corners, X-mark, H-mark, and the usual finale for the top prize would be the blackout.

The atmosphere in a Bingo game is that of enjoyment and revelry thus the term Bingo Socials. In these Bingo Socials, people in a community, organization, or school get to meet one another and chat over food, drinks, and a good game of Bingo. The funny thing is that churches are all unanimous in teaching us that gambling is evil, yet they each have their own raffles and Bingo socials to raise funds for a new bell, maybe new pews, to repair an aging sound system, or even for a sick patron, preacher or priest. It makes you wonder if the ends do justify the means. Since it eventually evolved into a fun game more than a gambling game, Bingo prizes have not been limited to cash. Usually, the prizes are items from mobile phones, to television sets, all the way to brand-new cars.

This evolution of Bingo has also transformed it into a more interactive and fun form of a raffle. It’s so simple that a whole game, complete with more than a hundred different Bingo cards with little Bingo balls will all fit into a small board game box. This reality has also made Bingo a game for all ages. In some of our camping or beach trips, one would bring one of these Bingo sets and ask participants to donate old unused Christmas gifts from home. The gifts are then all placed in the prize pool and everyone is in for a treat that can last for hours. You can do variations like we once did wherein everyone starts by standing up, once a number is called on your card, you have to sit down, and the last man standing wins the prize. Perhaps there are a thousand and one other ways one can think of how to play the Bingo cards and balls differently. However, if you choose to play it, one thing is for sure: you and your friends will have hours of fun.

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