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Beano, Beano, Bingo!

Nope, Beano is not the name of the soup that had earned the city of Boston in the United States the moniker, Bean town. Beano is a lottery-like game of chance that had endured wars, pestilence and the rise and fall of empires. Interestingly enough, it is a game that had imbedded itself in man's social activities as he crossed borders and continents to build communities and nations. Don't be surprised now, but beano is what we know now as bingo.

Bingo was first played in Italy in the 14th century, where it was then called Lo Giuocu del Lotto D'Italia. Three hundred years later, the game made its way into France as Le Lotto, where it was played almost exclusively by the moneyed elite. Then, as fate would have it, this rich Frenchman's game of chance made its way into neighboring Germany where it was introduced as an educational aid for children, teaching them spelling, history and mathematics! At the onset of the Great Depression, bingo crossed the Atlantic riding on the crest of the wave of European immigrants searching for a better future in the New World.

Settling itself in America as beano, after the legumes that were used by the players to cover numbered squares on the cards, the game metamorphosed to its present form and name by accident. While being played in a carnival in 1930, a winning player, instead of yelling "beano" shouted by mistake at the top of his lungs, bingo!

Today, bingo had become so popular that almost everybody has played and won the game at least once in his lifetime. Bingo is played in family and clan get-togethers. Members of communities enjoy the game during social events and gatherings. To many people, bingo time is bonding time among families, neighbors and the community at large. With the advent of the Internet, online bingo brings people together all over the country and all around the world in real time. While online bingo players can now play the game from the comfort of their homes, they have not lost the more enjoyable social aspect of the game. Through the chat feature of online bingo websites, bingo players can chat with other people all over the world who are also playing the game in real time.

To the game players, the pot from playing bingo is just an incidental benefit to the real fulfillment of bridging social interaction among families, communities and with people from across the seas. Amidst the conflict and strife that beset the modern world, it can be said that a society that plays bingo together, stays together.