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From Beano to Bingo: A Brief History

Bingo is a game of chance that is fun and easy to play. Bingo provides better odds at you winning, provides you entertainment, and supports local charitable causes.

Have you ever wondered about the origins of bingo?

In 1929, a variation of the European lotto sprouted in the United States. Edward S. Lowe stopped at a carnival near Jacksonville, where he stumbled upon the game of beano. Players placed beans on numbers called and shouted “BEANO” when they covered a line either vertically, horizontally, or diagonally.


Lowe returned to New York, bought some dried beans and cardboard, and began showing his friends the game. One evening a tongue-tie person yelled “BINGO” instead of “BEANO,” – thus the birth of the game called BINGO!

In 1930, a priest in Wiles-Barre, PA, began using bingo to raise money for his church, introducing charitable bingo.

There were too many multiple winners at the bingo games, which prompted Lowe to turn to professor Carl Leffler of Columbia University to develop unique bingo faces. Leffler developed the one to 6,000 series of bingo cards. This tremendous task took a toll on professor Leffler; however, it opened a window for the future development of even more unique bingo faces.

Today, Arrow International offers bingo venues over 100,000 unique bingo faces – far from the original lotto games. Arrow’s machine collated UniMax® bingo paper offers bingo managers a complete bingo solution such as common serial numbers, Auditrack™ System, Series Identification, and Maximum Security. Furthermore, UniMax offers players more action, suspense, excitement, and fun!

Learn more about the cost savings by making the switch to UniMax bingo paper.



Read the full story on the History of Bingo on arrowinternational.com


The laws that determine the legality of these products change constantly. It is the responsibility of the buyer to determine which products are legal in any given area.


Unimax Bingo PaperUNIMAX BINGO PAPER: Offers maximum security, integrity, and game control. A single, common serial number throughout a collated set of books makes tracking serial numbers easier than ever. UniMax bingo paper was developed with game operators and players in mind.


Things to know to bingoTHINGS TO KNOW BEFORE YOU BINGO: When was the last time you yelled BINGO? Better yet, when was the last time you attended a bingo game, or have you ever attended a bingo game? 

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