The classic game of bingo has been played for centuries. Did you know that its origins can be traced back to Renaissance Italy in the 16th century?

The game evolved slowly from there but eventually spread throughout Europe in the 17th and 18th centuries. By the 19th century, it had become a popular form of social entertainment in France, Germany, and Great Britain.

Today’s more modern version of bingo was first introduced in the United States in the early 20th century. It was originally called “beano” and was played at gatherings like county fairs and carnivals.

The popular legend is that the name changed to “bingo” accidentally. An excited player accidentally shouted out “bingo” instead of “beano” after winning a game.

The new name stuck, and soon, bingo became a popular pastime in churches, community centers and public halls across the United States.

Bingo is now played in various forms all over the world. It continues to be popular with people of all ages.

And of course it is also played online – thanks to many online bingo sites like Jackpotjoy offering versions of the game.

The spread of bingo

Over the last century, bingo spread round the world through several different means.

One way was through mass immigration, as newly-arriving people brought the game with them to their adopted countries. For example, Italian immigrants often brought bingo to the United States, where it became popular in the early 20th century.

Another way it spread was through the military.

During World War II, soldiers discovered playing bingo abroad as a way to pass the time. When they returned home, they continued to play the game and introduced it to new places.

Bingo also spread through the media when it was featured in movies and TV shows. And bingo halls and community centers increasingly promoted big bingo tournaments, which helped to spread it to new audiences.

Finally, the internet has played a big role in the global spread of bingo.

Online casino sites have made bingo accessible to people all over the world. You can now play bingo from virtually anywhere at any time with an internet connection.

Big bingo wins

Along the way, there have been some landmark wins in bingo. Jackpot prizes can be very substantial.

Experienced players soon realise that the size of the jackpot can vary depending on the number of players participating.

One of the biggest bingo wins on record happened in 2012.

An anonymous player won £5.9 million (around US $8.2 million) playing online bingo. It is believed to be the largest ever bingo jackpot although the winner remains unknown.

Back in 2009, a Greek man named Georgios M. won €6.3 million (around US $8.6 million) playing online bingo at the River Belle Online Casino.

In 2012, John Orchard, a 60-year-old grandfather from the UK, won a £5.9 million (around $8.2 million) jackpot while playing online bingo.

In 2015 there was an anonymous £1.1 million (around US $1.5 million) jackpot win in the United Kingdom.

In 2015, Lisa Potter, a 33-year-old mother of two from the UK, won a £1.3 million (around US $1.8 million) jackpot while playing bingo at her local humble Mecca bingo hall.

The US doesn’t have so many big winners. The best on record happened in 2016, Wendy Holmes, a 65-year-old, won a $10,000 jackpot playing bingo at the Potawatomi Hotel & Casino in Milwaukee.

In 2018, Soraya Lowell, a 38-year-old mother-of-four from the UK, won a £1.2 million (around $1.6 million) jackpot while playing bingo online.

Bingo jackpots

The game’s prizes can vary from a few hundred dollars to millions of dollars, depending on the game’s size.

Some of the biggest bingo prizes have been offered in progressive jackpot games, where the prize increases each time the game is played – until someone wins the lot.

While the odds of winning one of these big bingo jackpots are relatively low, it is certainly possible to win substantial prizes from playing bingo.

The odds of winning depend on several factors. This includes the number of players taking part, the number of cards in play, and the exact type of bingo game being played.

In general, probability experts say that the more players there are and the more cards that are in play, the lower the chances of winning.

However, they also add, that compared to other casino games, such as slots, blackjack, or roulette, the odds of winning at bingo are generally considered to be more favourable.

Of course it’s a game of chance and there’s never a guarantee of winning. Always remember to play with a budget and stick to it.

Like any game of chance the real fun of playing bingo should come – not from winning or losing – but from taking part and enjoying the thrills.