December happens to be “Bingo Month” because it is the time of year when the game we know and love today was officially introduced to the United States, although it does have a history before that. VFW Post 5923 hosts 2 weekly nights of Bingo at the Lake of the Ozarks next door to the Bunker Bar & Grill on Friday and Saturday evenings. We’ll have more details about those games for you below after we clue you in on a bit about the history of this fun pastime.
How Bingo Began
The game named “Bingo” made its U.S. debut in December 1929, but the idea came from a game played many years earlier in Italy. “Il Giuoco del Lotto d’Italia” was a lottery game from 1530. The addition of playing cards, tokens, and the calling out of numbers were added in France in the 18th century.
“Le Lotto” made an appearance in Franc in 1778, which is a game featuring 27 squares in a layout of three rows and nine columns. Five squares in each row had numbers ranging from 1-90. This is the most similar to the modern design used today.
Hugh J. Ward created his version and brought it to carnivals in and around Pittsburgh and the Western Pennsylvania area in the early 1920’s. Ward copyrighted the game and published a rule book in 1933. Slightly before that, in December 1929, Edwin Lowe noticed people eagerly playing a game called “Beano” at a traveling carnival. It followed Ward’s rules but used dried beans, a rubber stamp, and cardboard sheets to play with. Lowe produced his own similar game and introduced it to friends in New York.
Some say, though there is no definitive proof, that the name “Bingo” was taken because one of Lowe’s friends was so excited to win a round that she yelled “Bingo” instead of “Beano!” By the 1940’s, Bingo games were happening throughout the United States.
Bingo Nights at VFW Post 5923
The Camdenton VFW Post 5923 is home to the Lake of the Ozarks’ most popular Bingo games! Every Friday and Saturday night you are invited to join us to play a few rounds, have fun with some wonderful people, and maybe even win one of the cash prizes.
The doors open at 5 pm. Early Bird games begin at 6:30 pm, and Horse Race games are played before those. Each evening, 24 games are played with 2 Progressive Jackpots each night that goes up every week if no one wins. The winner of each night’s last game takes 90% of that game. A $500 Coverall Jackpot is also up for grabs every night. All other winnings are determined by attendance, and proceeds raised from hosting these games benefit veterans and VFW Post 5923.
Dinner Before, Bar After
The Bunker Bar & Grill next door to VFW Post 5923 is the perfect place to grab something delicious for dinner before heading over to join the Bingo games. in addition to our tasty everyday menu items, we offer a “Surf & Turf” special every Friday and Saturday is “Hog Wild Day” featuring a specialty pork dish. Once you’re finished with Bingo for the night, come on back to our Lake of the Ozarks bar & restaurant to enjoy a drink and maybe some pool, darts, or Keno. (Hopefully you’ll have some Bingo winnings to use!) Our bar stays open on Friday & Saturday nights until 1 am, and the longer you hang out, the more fun we’ll all have!