Bingo is a classic game which has remained hugely popular across the globe for a number of years – and that means there are plenty of bingo facts and stories to tell about its rich, exciting and quirky past.

Here, we are going to dive into some of the most fascinating elements of the game’s history, taking a look back at its beginnings before exploring some key bingo facts and figures that have emerged in the years since.

So, make a cup of tea, sit back and get ready to learn some pretty weird and wonderful facts about the famous game that we all love so much.

Bingo Facts – A history of bingo

How old is bingo?

Bingo is an absolute gaming classic, but do you actually realise just how long it has existed? You may be surprised to learn that the pastime has been around for a while.

In fact, bingo is:

  • 365 years older than the first mechanical slot machine, the Liberty Bell (1895)
  • 442 years older than the first game console, the Magnavox Odyssey (1972)
  • 455 years older than the first Super Mario Bros console game (1985)
  • 482 years older than mobile gaming hit Candy Crush (2012)

Yes, the first – and probably the most mind-blowing – of our bingo game facts is that it is believed to have first been developed in Italy in the 1530s. More specifically, Lo Giuoco del Lotto D’Italia is understood to have been a lottery game which bears more than a mild resemblance to the bingo game that we know and love today.

Growth across the globe

From there, the concept of bingo started to spread across the world, and there are reports that it was played in the 1770s in France.

Following that, arguably the game’s biggest moment came when it was discovered by toymaker Edwin S Lowe. While it was then known as ‘beano’, he went on to develop his own version and after a player inadvertently shouted ‘bingo!’ to signify she had won, the name allegedly stuck. From that point onwards. the game seemingly took on a life of its own. It became widely played across the globe and developed a particularly strong following here in the UK.

Bingo Facts – Heading online

While its popularity may have dwindled slightly as the decades went by, the emergence of online bingo services breathed new life into the concept. It is believed that Bingo Zone was the first website to offer the game when it launched in 1996, but it has since been followed by many other, much more sophisticated online bingo providers.

As technology evolved, so did online bingo, with the opportunity to play the game on smartphone and tablet also becoming hugely popular while many bingo sites, including our own, also feature slot games too.

Top bingo facts – by numbers

Now it is time to take a look at a few of the more weird and wonderful bingo facts from across the world – beginning with the key figures you’ll want to know.

24: The number of hours of continuous bingo play which Southwind Healthcare and Rehab in LA organised in order to secure a world record in 2018. According to, the amazing effort was part of a fundraising event.

70,080: The number of people who took part in the biggest ever game of bingo. According to Guinness World Records, the event was held in Bogota, Colombia in December 2006.

493,824: The number of people who headed online to play in the biggest web-based bingo game of all time in September 2010. According to Guinness World Records, the game was organised by Coca-Cola Japan and took place in Tokyo.

£5,900,000: Thought to be the biggest ever online bingo win in the UK. The huge sum was won by John Orchard back in 2012.

£1,167,795: The amount won by cleaner Soraya Lowell in 2008. It could be the biggest sum ever won in a UK bingo hall.

3,500,000: The number of online bingo players that are estimated to be based in the UK.

Top bingo facts – by country

You’ve had a taste of some of the more impressive numbers to have emerged in relation to bingo in recent years, so now it is time to take a look at the countries that have joined the UK and Italy in embracing the game.


Bingo is thought to have become a hit in Germany in the late 1800s and has become about more than just winning big. The concept has been used to support education in the past, particularly in the teaching of maths and spelling.


As we have already touched upon, the US is arguably the place where the modern version of the game was first created. Bingo remains hugely popular in the country, while games have been operated by churches and charitable organisations through the years, too.


Shows like Bingo Romania have helped the game reach new heights in this country, with interest in it initially emerged in the early 1990s. According to our estimates, we believe Romania is ranked number two in the world when it comes to bingo’s level of popularity.


Bingo’s big break in Japan came with the emergence of the online game. In fact, it is now believed that the country is the second-largest market in the world specifically for web-based versions of the game.

Different ways to play

However, it is worth bearing in mind that there is no single way to play bingo.

In fact, if you’re new to this world you may not realise that several different styles are played globally. While 90 Ball Bingo is associated with the UK and 75-Ball is linked to the US, the game is enjoyed across the world in other variations too.

New heights

Finally, while so many of us play our favourite game on our sofa, there have been a few occasions where people have enjoyed a game in more extreme surroundings.

According to The Weston Mercury, Peter Hughes from Weston organised a game at the top of Mount Everest as part of a charity challenge in 2009. Rather unsurprisingly, the feat also saw him set a record for the highest game of bingo.

An exciting game

All of the above has put a spotlight on the rich legacy of bingo, the life-changing impact it has had on many people’s lives and the incredible feats people have achieved due to their love of the game.

It will be exciting to see what other amazing bingo facts and statistics emerge as we continue to enjoy the game across the globe and online.