Bingo is literally a bit of a lottery, as it has its origins in lottery games. The invention of bingo can be traced back to a form of a national lottery that was invented in Italy in 1530. It was called Lo Giuoco Lotto Italia and was a very popular game of its time. Traces of this form of lotto can still be seen in 90-ball bingo that we play today at Barbados Bingo.
Even back then in Italy, players had cards with numbers and when they were called out, those that matched the corresponding numbers won. The popularity of this game meant that it spread to other countries and by the late 1770s the lotto game began to cross borders and was especially popular in France, where it was named ‘Le Lotto.’
The French Influence
The French took the game of Lo Giuoco Lotto Italia and modified the cards into standard 3 rows and 9 verticals much like a modern 90-ball bingo card that is used today. Most people wonder if some numbers are luckier than others. However, films and TV shows can influence people’s attitudes to what numbers they think are lucky both in lottery and bingo games.
Bingo and Popular Culture
A spin off from Breaking Bad is probably the last place that you would expect to find bingo being referenced. However, in Better Call Saul, lawyer Saul Goodman is fond of a bit of bingo. Even in Hotel Transylvania there is a ghoulish version of bingo played by the strange inhabitants of this spooky kids animation. Bingo even makes an appearance in the bad taste comedy movie Bad Grandpa
If you remember the famous hit TV show Lost that aired between 2004 and 2010, then you will probably remember that a special sequence of numbers featured in the main narrative of the series. One of the character’s winning lottery numbers of 4, 8, 15, 16, 23 and 42 not only influenced lottery players but they were also the most sort after on the bingo circuit around the world, during the height of the popularity of this American series.
Other movies and TV shows that have influenced bingo players include the movie Paycheck staring Ben Affleck, where a time traveller leaves himself the lottery winning numbers. It Could Happen To You sees cop Nicholas Cage share his winnings with a waitress thanks to the numbers 6, 12, 16, 27, 48, and 64. Although not as popular as Lost, this movie still influenced bingo players choices of tickets they brought.
Even the Simpsons which is one of the longest running and most famous of all animations has featured episodes with winning number combinations that have had a direct affect on bingo players. Then there are the numbers that are traditionally seen as lucky such as 7 that are added to the mix. In reality, the numbers from famous TV shows and films do not get called more regularly than other numbers. It’s all random after all and remember, bingo is a lottery, well almost.